A British petition to cancel Brexit and remain in the European Union is drawing too much support for the U.K. government’s website to handle, with the petition site crashing repeatedly on Thursday. More than 1 million people have signed the petition to revoke the triggering of Article 50 — blowing past the 100,000 signatures needed to compel a debate in Parliament. Article 50 is the EU treaty’s exit clause.
The petition drive comes as the U.K. government has gone through contortions trying to set terms for leaving the EU — but Parliament and Prime Minister Theresa May have been unable to agree on how to do so. This week, the repeated delays forced May to ask the European Council to extend the Article 50 period through June 30, rather than the March 29 deadline.
The petition to revoke Article 50 states that rather than attempt to nail down an elusive compromise, May and Parliament should simply abandon their efforts to leave the EU. It 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.”
The petition was started last month by Margaret Anne Georgiadou, who said via Twitter a week ago, “I simply want a large number to slap in the government’s face.”
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