Thousands in Preston back call to scrap plans to leave EU

Thousands of people across Preston have signed a petition calling for the Government to revoke Article 50.

By Mike Hill
Friday, 22nd March 2019, 10:21 am
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 11:38 am
Thousands sign Article 50 petition in Preston
Thousands sign Article 50 petition in Preston

The city's three parliamentary constituencies contributed to the highest volume of sign-ups to any petition on record, according to Parliament's official Petitions Committee.

As of 5.30pm on Thursday, 866 people in the Preston constituency had signed the petition – 0.9 per cent of the population.

That rate was even higher in Wyre and Preston North, where 1.2 per cent of the population had added their names to the petition – 1,080 signatures.

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In Preston's other constituency, Fylde, 1.2 per cent of the population had signed, 1,048 people.

The 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.”

More than 1 million people had signed the petition by early afternoon on Thursday, following increased activity on the website after the Prime Minister's speech on Wednesday night.

Revoke Article 50 began trending on Twitter following the speech and continued to be a global trend into Thursday.

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Petition to revoke Article 50 has 'highest recorded signing rate'

In her Downing Street statement, Theresa May blamed MPs for failing to implement the result of the 2016 EU referendum and told frustrated voters: "I am on your side."

The Petitions Committee said nearly 2,000 signatures were being completed every minute over Thursday lunchtime, crashing the website because of the unprecedented number of visitors.

The petition is the third most popular to be submitted to the Parliament website, surpassing the 100,000-signature threshold needed for it to be debated in Parliament.

A 2016 petition calling for a second EU referendum should the winning vote and turnout not reach a certain threshold has received the most signatories to date, at almost 4.2m.

A petition to prevent Donald Trump from making a state visit to the UK is in second place with 1.9 million sign-ups.

The petition to revoke Article 50 was welcomed as a "solution" to the current crisis by former Labour MEP Catherine Stihler.

She was part of the legal challenge led by six pro-Remain Scottish politicians that confirmed Article 50 could be unilaterally revoked by the UK Government.