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BREXIT

Cancel Brexit petition heads towards SIX MILLION signatures

A petition set up last week that calls for the British government to cancel Brexit and stay in the EU by revoking Article 50 had garnered almost six million signatures on Wednesday.

Cancel Brexit petition heads towards SIX MILLION signatures
Photo: AFP

The online petition was set up on the parliament site shortly after Theresa May addressed the British public in a TV appearance in which she blamed MPs for the Brexit chaos.

By the next day it had rocketed past the one million signature mark and has kept on rising.

By Wednesday morning, thousands of people were still signing up to show their disapproval of the Prime Minister and their desire to remain part of the EU.

The total was at 5.83 million by 10am and was expected to pass the six million mark on Wednesday or Thursday.

According to officials at the House of Commons the petition had the highest rate of sign ups ever.

The petition was shared widely on British Facebook groups across the EU and thousands have signed from France, Germany and Spain.

The petition titled: 'Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU' 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.”

While the Conservative government has said it will not be cancelling Brexit or revoking Article 50 in order to respect the result of the 2016 referendum, parliament will hold a debate on the issue on Monday.

“Revoking Article 50, and thereby remaining in the European Union, would undermine both our democracy and the trust that millions of voters have placed in Government,” said the official statement.

The petition was started by Margaret Georgiadou, who says she has received death threats as a result.

Detractors claim it is full of false signatures, however officials have said that fake ones are being removed unless they can be verified via email.

British PM Theresa May was still holding out that her deal with the EU would get the backing of the British parliament in a third vote, but MPs were also set to cast votes on Wednesday on various other options.

Britain is set to leave the EU on April 12th unless May's deal is passed or the government can come up with a plan B to convince Brussels to accept a longer delay.

You can sign the petition here.

 

Member comments

  1. How many voted Leave? Oh, that’s right – 17,410,742.

    Yawn.

    Let’s not be Europeans – let’s respect a democratic vote. Brexit ASAP!!!

  2. If their servers were able to handle the traffic, there would likely be more than double, triple what we have now.

  3. The vote in 2016 was tainted by false information and in was margina. So I happily sign the petition. But somequestions: email checks. Can a husband and wife count as two on the same email address? Can people without email sign the petition if so how?

  4. Cut off in midstream. We must get to 8.5 million half the leave vote. Get to 10 million next.Then get past 17 million. It is possible ! Contact all your friends and encourage them to vote.Don’t let the cheats have their way.

  5. The true “undermining of democracy” was the lies, deceit and sheer BS that was used to get peple to vote ‘Leave’ in the referendum, and most of that from right-wing politicians!
    Now only the despots and desperate Brexiters repeat the ‘will-o-the-people’ mantra without any hint of reality on how this will adversely affect millions of people, now and in the future, not to mention the UK economy.

  6. “Lies and deceit”, right. And Hillary Clinton lost because Donald Trump colluded with Russia.

    Democracy means there are losers – that’s what Remainers are. Accept it, or just admit you are anti-democratic.

  7. WTH does Tr–p have to do with this? You MUST be desperate, Mrs. May.
    Your continued insults aimed at “Remainers” really helps your cause.

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BRITS IN EUROPE

Brits in Europe won right to vote for life in UK but questions remain

After years of campaigns and promises British citizens living abroad finally won the lifelong right to vote in UK general elections in April 2022. But campaigners say more needs to be done to allow all those Britons abroad to be able cast their votes easily.

Brits in Europe won right to vote for life in UK but questions remain

What’s in the law?

The Elections Act 2022 introduced several changes to the current legislation on electoral participation. Among these, it removed the rule by which British citizens lose their voting rights in the UK if they have lived abroad for more than 15 years

The new rules also abolished the requirement to have been previously registered in the UK electoral roll to become an overseas voter. In addition, the registration in the electoral roll will now last up to three years instead of only one year.

It is estimated that these changes could increase the number of overseas voter registrations by some 3 million. But the way new measures will be applied in practice is still to be defined.

READ ALSO: ‘Mixed feelings’ – British citizens in Europe finally get right to vote for life

Defining the practicalities

Under the new law, Britons living abroad will have to register to vote in the last place they were registered in the UK. This means that people who have never lived in the UK will be ineligible to vote, regardless of how long they have been overseas, while those who left when they were children will be able to use a parent or guardian’s address.

But given that the UK does not require residents to register with local councils, how to prove previous UK residence? “Typical documents accepted as a proof of residence are Council tax or utilities bills, but not everyone will have them or will have kept them in an international move,” says Fiona Godfrey, co-founder of the British in Europe coalition.

Ballot papers are pictured in stacks in a count centre as part of the 2019 UK general election. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)

Other questions concern how people will effectively cast their ballot. UK citizens overseas will be able to vote by post or by proxy or in person at their polling station if they are in the UK at the time of the election. However, few people are likely to travel to the UK for an election and in the past there have problems and delays with postal voting.

The Electoral Commission has recommended that overseas electors appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf. But who could that be for people who have been away from their constituency for a long time?

New secondary legislation will have to answer these questions, defining how to be included in the electoral roll and how to exercise the voting right in practice.

According to British in Europe, the government should present draft legislation in the first half of the year so that the parliament can adopt it before summer and registrations of overseas voters can start in the autumn.

British in Europe survey

British in Europe are currently running a survey to understand the difficulties UK citizens abroad may face in the registration and voting process, as well as their intention to participate in elections.

The survey asks for instance which documents people can access to prove their previous residence in the UK, what problems they had voting in the past, and if and how they plan to vote in the future.

“We need to get an up-to-date picture of British citizens living around the world and have information to make recommendations to the government, as it prepares secondary legislation,” Godfrey said. “If millions of people will exercise their voting rights, there will be consequences for council registration offices, post office and authorities that will manage the process, among other things” she argued.

The right to vote concerns only UK parliamentary elections and national referendums, not elections in the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, or at local level.

The survey is open to UK citizens living anywhere in the world and is available at this link.

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