/Cancel Brexit Petition Amasses Record 5.8 Million Signatures

Cancel Brexit Petition Amasses Record 5.8 Million Signatures

A petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked and for the U.K. to remain in the European Union has broken the record for the most number of signatories garnered on the British Parliament’s petitions website.

As of early Wednesday, more than 5.8 million people had signed the “Cancel Brexit” petition. Dozens of new signatures were being added to the tally every minute.

Anyone who is a resident of the U.K. or a British citizen can sign the petition, according to a Parliament spokesman.

Some observers have questioned whether bots or people using fake details have artificially inflated the number of signatories on the petition. The spokesman told the BBC, however, that signature patterns are investigated to weed out fraudulent signatures. 

Parliament has said it will debate the petition on April 1.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has already indicated, however, that it will not entertain any talk of stopping Brexit. 

“This Government will not revoke Article 50. We will honor the result of the 2016 referendum and work with Parliament to deliver a deal that ensures we leave the European Union,” the government said in a statement. “The Government acknowledges the considerable number of people who have signed this petition. However, close to three-quarters of the electorate took part in the 2016 referendum, trusting that the result would be respected.”

The “Cancel Brexit” petition was launched on February 20 by Margaret Georgiadou, a 77-year-old retired educator from Yorkshire.

She said last week that her Facebook account had been hacked and she’d received several death threats because of the petition. Still, Georgiadou has continued to drum up support. “We want a really big number for the 1st [of] April,” she wrote on Tuesday. 

The future of Brexit remains as murky as ever.

Originally scheduled for March 29, Britain’s departure deadline has been extended to at least April 12. On Wednesday, Parliament will debate a range of alternative Brexit options, including possibly a further extension, a renegotiation of terms and a second referendum.