Thousands sign Revoke Article 50 petition in North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 11:27 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:31 22 March 2019

Campaigners outside the Houses of Parliament. Picture: Kirsty O’Connor/PA Wire (Inserts of John Penrose, Dr Liam Fox and PM Theresa May. Pictures: Eleanor Young/Victoria Jones)

Campaigners outside the Houses of Parliament. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire (Inserts of John Penrose, Dr Liam Fox and PM Theresa May. Pictures: Eleanor Young/Victoria Jones)

Kirsty O’Connor/PA Wire/Victoria Jones

Thousands of people across North Somerset have signed an online petition calling on Theresa May to scrap Brexit.

A petition on Parliament’s website has attracted 2.8million signatures in just a couple of days, with people calling for Article 50 to be revoked and the UK to remain in the European Union (EU).

In Dr Liam Fox’s North Somerset constituency, almost 3,000 people have signed the petition – about three per cent of the population.

However, fewer people in Weston-super-Mare’s constituency have signed it. Just 1,700 have and that represents about 1.6 per cent of the population.

The EU last night (Thursday) granted the UK an extension to the Brexit process from March 29, which the House of Commons and House of Lords are expected to ratify.

It means that if MPs back a negotiated deal to leave the EU next week, the country will withdraw from the union on May 22.

However, if MPs reject the deal, the country will leave the EU on April 12 without a deal – unless a different consensus can be agreed before that time.

Brexit has split the country since the electorate voted to leave in June 2016.

In North Somerset 52 per cent of voters in the district voted to leave – mirroring the national picture.

More than one million people had signed the online petition by early afternoon yesterday, following increased activity on the website after the Prime Minister’s speech on Wednesday night.

In her Downing Street statement, Mrs 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 yesterday 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.

But its value was downplayed in the House of Commons yesterday by MP Andrea Leadsom who said its merit was minimal until it eclipsed the 17.4million who voted for Brexit three years ago.

Critics of the petition though say some people from outside the UK have also signed it.

An online petition calling the UK to leave without a deal was launched in January and attracted 624 signatures in North Somerset and 838 in Weston.

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