Pin It
Brexit protest
Photography Jacob Chabeaux

The public petition to cancel Brexit passes four million signatures

I won’t go down with this ship

Brexit is burning my brain. The past two weeks have been absolute mayhem, and given the EU has now agreed to delay Brexit, the chaos is set to continue. That is, unless we just… cancel it.

The petition to revoke Article 50 and remain in the European Union has passed four million signatures, with the rate of names added becoming “the highest the site has ever had to deal with”, according to parliament’s petition committee.

Although the petition was at one point amassing nearly 2000 signatures a minute, it hasn’t yet topped the plea for a second EU referendum in June 2016, which attracted over four million signatures – surely the government should be seeing a pattern here.

Created by Remainer Margaret Anne Georgiadou, the petition follows a frenzied two weeks in which Theresa May’s deal was voted down a second time, MPs rejected a no-deal Brexit, the house speaker, John Bercow, ruled out a third vote on May’s repetitive deal, and the EU agreed a Brexit extension. Still with me?

Despite acknowledging that “the public have had enough”, May is set to plough on with her My Way Or The Highway attitude, as a Downing Street spokesperson explains: “the prime minister has long been clear that failing to deliver on the referendum result would be a failure of our democracy and something she couldn’t countenance.”

Though it’s up for debate whether revoking Article 50 without public input goes against democracy – even if it is the best thing for the country – a second referendum is entirely democratic.

“It’s not democratic to make the people accept a deal which makes them poorer and less secure as a nation,” Lara Spirit, the co-founder of anti-Brexit youth group Our Future, Our Choicetold Dazed on Monday. “I think it’s far more democratic to go back to the public and ask them for their informed consent on what to do about this.”

Following the EU’s vote last night, the UK has been granted an Article 50 extension until May 22 if MP’s agree the prime minister’s deal next week, or until April 12 if they don’t; this means the UK could still crash out of the European Union with no deal next month.

Given the referendum is not even legally binding, Theresa May could save us all the headache and just cancel Brexit. Although until the petition surpasses 17.4 million (the amount of people who voted Leave in 2016), I wouldn’t hold your breath.