Revoke Article 50 Petition Signatures Soar
Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson
As much as I hate to say it, this week has largely been about the ‘B’ word again after MPs voted down Theresa May’s deal for a second time.
At times like this, I find Twitter is often the best place to go to find articles and opinions (of course). One thing that struck me was a political cartoon of May badgering MPs with her deal and asking if they had changed their minds yet, but refusing to take her deal or even Brexit to the public to see if they too had changed their minds.
Most news sources say a People’s Vote is unlikely to happen, even if the Brexit deadline is extended until June. So far, the British public as a whole have let the MPs get on with things, most of us becoming too confused about the Brexit metalanguage to even hold an opinion anymore. But it seems there may be a turning of the tide, for both remainers and those who wish to pursue Brexit at all costs.
The ongoing chaos of the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ in France has demonstrated to the country’s government, and the wider world, the power that people can have collectively. As too have the #FridaysForFuture global climate strikes. And today trending on Twitter is the Revoke Article 50 petition.
In the absence of a People’s Vote, those who wish to remain in the EU want to ensure that their voices are heard and with no other political way to do so, an official petition has been launched.
In the UK, a petition needs 100,000 signatures or more before it is considered for a debate. On my last check, the live counter had over 582,000.
Professor Brian Cox, the renowned English physicist, tweeted:
“I’ve signed the petition to revoke A50 and deal with the consequences afterwards – referendum, election, whatever. I have no idea whether these things do any good but after May’s astonishingly irresponsible speech this evening I’ll give anything a go.”
Professor Cox’s words, along with a link to the Revoke Article 50 petition, have been retweeted over 10,000 times, including by regular Grow contributor and Adventures of Alan writer, Alan Hancock who added:
“I was a leave voter but our parliamentary leadership has failed to negotiate an acceptable withdrawal agreement and I no longer trust this government to lead us through it.
“At this point, I would rather remain and try again in future if necessary.”
The petition itself states:
“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.”
Meanwhile, pro-leave group Brexit Direct Action is calling on drivers to block major motorways, including sections of the M5 at Exeter and Bristol, if the country does not leave the European Union on time.
Several protests have been planned for this weekend, starting during the Friday evening rush hour and lasting into the early hours of Saturday.
Whether you are aligned with those who want to remain or those who want to leave, there is a shared thread; the people of the UK are tired of politicians arguing on their behalf and the lack of democracy that has been afforded to the citizens of this country. As British barrister Jolyon Maugham tweeted “we don’t live in a dictatorship” and the people, who have been denied any further vote on Brexit, are having to find other ways for their views to be heard.
Writer’s note: At the time of publishing this article, the Revoke Article 50 petition site was temporarily down, most likely due to the amount of traffic it was receiving as signatures exceeded 600,000.