16:08 GMT +327 May 2019
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    An anti-Brexit pro-remain supporter shouts out during a gathering outside the House of Parliament in London, Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

    Twitter Ablaze With Debate Over Popular Anti-Brexit Petition

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    The unremitting barrage of signatures is itself a sign of how polarised Britain is when it comes to Brexit. On the one hand, millions support a swift departure from the EU, on the other, millions clearly wish to stay.

    A petition calling for Theresa May to cancel Brexit and keep Britain in the EU by revoking Article 50 has garnered 3 million signatures.

    Underscoring the unprecedented nature of the number of signatures amassed, the Parliament's petitions committee tweeted that it was "the highest the site has ever had to deal with."

    The number of people signing the petition appears to be climbing rapidly. At around 8:30 this morning (GMT), March 22, the number sat at about 2,615,963. By 11:00, the number had jumped to 2,895,243, and will no doubt continue to grow.

    A whole host of celebrities have waded into the debate, throwing their support behind the petition and urging others to do so.

    Revoke Article 50 has also been trending on Twitter, urging people to sign up in order to pressure Miss May into abandoning Brexit before the new deadline of May 22. The petition has received so much attention, that the petitions committee has said that traffic to their website has caused major technical difficulties.

    As would be expected, the petition's circulation and popularity has aroused impassioned responses from both sides of the Brexit debate:

    The petition's heat map shows the constituencies with the highest number of signatories, including seats in Bristol, Edinburgh, Manchester, Oxford, London, Cambridge and Brighton.

    Yet, despite the explosion of enthusiasm and activism, it is unlikely to change Theresa May's course. Downing Street itself has issued a statement saying that Miss May "has long been clear that failing to deliver on the referendum result would be a failure of democracy and a failure she wouldn't countenance."

    The petition is now the second largest of its kind in UK history, knocking from that perch one that was circulated last year calling for a ban on President Donald Trump visiting the UK. The largest petition ever was the one back in June 2016 calling for a second EU referendum, which at the time collected more than 4 million signatures. Yet, thousands were removed after it was discovered that they were automated bots or people not living in the UK who falsely claimed that they were in order to put their name to the petition.     

    Tags:
    Brexit 'deal or no deal', Brexit, Brexit, UK Government, European Union, Jean-Claude Juncker, Theresa May, United Kingdom, Brussels, London
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