Following a massive anti-Brexit demonstration in London Saturday, a petition on the UK Parliament website for the government to reconsider its plan to leave the European Union has garnered over 5 million signatures. That makes it the most popular petition ever submitted on the site.
The petition asks the government to “revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU.” Article 50 gives any EU member state the right to quit the bloc unilaterally and shows how to do so. The UK triggered Article 50 in March 2017 following a referendum in June 2016 in which UK citizens narrowly approved exiting the EU. Parliament considers all petitions that get over 100,000 signatures for a debate.
Margaret Georgiadou, the 77-year-old retired lecturer who created the petition on Thursday, said on Saturday she was amazed by its popularity. She also tweeted that she’s received some death threats because of it.
In the 2016 referendum, about 17.4 million in the UK voted to Leave the EU, while just over 16.1 million voted Remain.
The BBC, quoting cybersecurity experts, reported that the risk of the petition being gamed significantly by bots is relatively low.
Speaking to demonstrators yesterday, London mayor Sadiq Khan called for Article 50 to be withdrawn, saying, “It’s time to give us, the British people, a final say on Brexit.”