Thousands sign Article 50 petition
PUBLISHED: 13:34 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:38 12 April 2019
A petition calling for Brexit to be scrapped, and for the UK to remain in the EU has been signed by more than 10,000 East Devon residents.
At the time of writing, 10,062 people in East Devon – equating to 10.18 per cent of constituents (98,326) – have added their name to the online petition which calls for Article 50 to be revoked.
More than five million people have signed the petition nationwide and it has far surpassed the 100,000 threshold needed for parliament to consider it for debate.
In the 2016 referendum, 48,040 East Devon residents (54.1 per cent) voted to leave the EU which. In total, 46.5 million people voted in the referendum across the UK – 51.9 per cent (17.4million) voted in favour of leaving the EU, while 48.1 per cent (16.1million) voted to remain.
The new petition reads: “The Government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’. We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now for remaining in the EU. A People’s Vote may not happen – so vote now.”
Prime Minister Theresa May said she did not believe the government should be revoking Article 50. Asked if she thought the public’s view on Brexit had shifted Mrs May said: “If you look back to what happened in the referendum, we saw the biggest democratic exercise in our history. And there was a clear result that we should leave the European Union.
“We said here’s the vote, what is your decision, and we will deliver on it. And I believe it’s our duty as a Government and as a Parliament to deliver on that vote.”
Her deal has been rejected in the Commons twice, and it remains unclear whether she will bring it back a third time after she wrote to MPs saying she would only do so if there was ‘sufficient support’.
Press reports over the weekend were rife with rumours that Mrs May was under pressure to resign.
Meanwhile, the EU has said all its preparation for an ‘increasingly likely’ no-deal scenario on 12 April has been completed. On Thursday (March 21), EU leaders said Brexit could be delayed from March 29 to May 22 but only on the condition that MPs vote for Mrs May’s deal next week.
If Mrs May’s deal is rejected in the third ‘meaningful vote’ then the UK would have until April 12 to tell the European Council a way forward.
William Whitbread, launched the ‘Leave EU Devon’ Facebook page in 2016 and has hundreds of likes. He said: “With regard to the ‘revoke’ petition, although five plus million have purportedly signed it, this number pales in comparison to the 17.4million who got down to their polling station back in 2016 and voted to leave.
“Further, if you compare this to the number of people who voted in 2016 to stay in the EU, it appears that remain has managed to lose 11million supporters.”