More Than One Million Crash UK Petition Site With Demand to Cancel Brexit
The British Parliament’s petitions website crashed Thursday morning as over a million of Britons attempted to make their opposition to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan known.
Hours after May chastised members of Parliament for rejecting her Brexit plan a second time, an anti-Brexit petition was gathering about 1,500 signatures per minute when it crashed the website for 40 minutes. The site then briefly went up before failing again.
As of this writing, more than one million people had signed the petition demanding that May’s invocation of Article 50 of the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, which allows a country to formally withdraw from the EU, be revoked.
“The government repeatedly claims exiting the E.U. is the will of the people,” reads the petition. “We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now for remaining in the E.U. A people’s vote may not happen, so vote now.”
The petition quickly reached the 100,000-signature threshold to force a debate in Parliament over the proposal after being posted on the government website Wednesday evening.
The site crashed as May was headed to Brussels to ask that the E.U. give her an extension for formalizing Brexit till June 30. May had originally planned for the U.K. to officially leave the E.U. by March 29, but Parliament has twice rejected her plan by wide margins in the past two months, most recently in a 242-391 vote on March 12.
May’s current plan involves a “soft” version of the Brexit plan, which 52 percent of voters in the United Kingdom supported in a June 2016 referendum.
In contrast to a “hard” deal which would have involved a complete withdrawal from the E.U., May’s deal would include less stringent controls on immigration into the U.K. and would retain its participation in the E.U.’s single market.
Critics of May’s deal argue that a “soft” Brexit would still damage the nation’s economy.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn called May’s continued attempts to salvage the deal and move towards a withdrawal from the E.U. in June “unacceptable and reckless.”
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Before Parliament rejected May’s deal for a first time in January—by the largest margin in the British government’s history—Corbyn was among those who called for a new election if the plan failed.
On social media, other critics called for a new Brexit referndum and new elections as a way to put controversy behind the country.
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