How many people in our area have signed the Revoke Article 50 petition as it closes in on 6 million signatures?
PUBLISHED: 14:58 27 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:11 27 March 2019
A petition demanding that the government revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit will be debated in Parliament on Monday after obtaining more than 5.5 million signatures in a week - we've taken a look at the response in our area.
Sign-ups for the petition – titled ‘Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU’ – have come in so fast that the government’s server hosting the petition crashed several times, prompting Parliament’s petitions committee to tweet that is the highest rate of signing the site has ever had to handle.
At the time of going to press, 16,078 people – 15.52 per cent of 102,141 constituents – in Hitchin and Harpenden had signed the petition, but MP Bim Afolami is against the idea, saying: “I do not support any move to unilaterally revoke Article 50.
“Such a move would be highly undemocratic and would cause irreparable damage to public trust in our democracy.
“I want to avoid a no-deal Brexit and I have been clear that I could never support such an outcome.
“But if we want to prevent a no-deal Brexit or a lengthy extension to Article 50 then we need to pass a deal by April 12.
“That’s why I’ve been backing the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement and why I will continue to do so.”
Just 6,602 of 96,410 Stevenage constituents, or 6.72 per cent, have signed the petition.
In North East Hertfordshire, 10,555 constituents have signed the petition, while 9,408 in Mid Bedfordshire and 10,004 in North East Bedfordshire have put their name down.
In a post on his website, North East Beds MP Alistair Burt – who resigned from the government on Monday night – said: “I have received a considerable number of emails asking me to vote to revoke Article 50.
“I am not persuaded that revoking Article 50 is the best current option.
“Despite voting to remain in the EU, I believe it is now in the UK’s best interests to leave, with an agreement, which ensures the chance of a good relationship with the EU in the future.
“I would have wished the result of the referendum to be different, but it was not and I cannot simply ignore it.
“I do not believe we can put that genie back in the bottle, instead I think the best opportunity for the UK and the EU to have a new future acceptable to the vast majority of the British people is as above.”