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East London voters join 5.5 million who've signed petition to revoke Brexit Article 50

PUBLISHED: 14:00 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:03 26 March 2019

Petition to cancel Article 50 and keep Britain in the EU reaches unprecedented 5,000,000 signatures. Picture: Mike Brooke

Petition to cancel Article 50 and keep Britain in the EU reaches unprecedented 5,000,000 signatures. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

Nearly 20,000 people across Newham’s parliamentary constituencies have joined five-and-a-half million throughout Britain who’ve signed a petition to Parliament demanding Article 50 to quit the EU be revoked.

New European, the Archant Group newspaper for Remainers, spearheading one of the People's Marches to stop Brexit. Picture: Mike BrookeNew European, the Archant Group newspaper for Remainers, spearheading one of the People's Marches to stop Brexit. Picture: Mike Brooke

At least 13,300 voters in the West Ham constituency had signed the petition by lunchtime today, with another 6,888 in neighbouring East Ham adding their names to demands for the People’s Vote.

The online petition calls on the government to revoke Article 50 after Theresa May repeatedly claimed quitting Europe was “the will of the people”.

The petition states: “We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now for remaining in the EU.”

The petition has the highest sign-up rate on record, having busted the 5.5 million barrier soon after lunch.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms told the Newham Recorder this-afternoon: “The petition is a staggering size with so many signing up. This reflects deep anxiety about where the UK is going and the prime minister’s leadership—she just hasn’t got the support.”

The committed EU remainer was in the Commons when Theresa May admitted today she just didn’t have the support for a ‘third meaningful vote’ to try and push her now-discredited deal through Parliament.

Protester proud to be a European has 'the blues' about prospect of Brexit. Picture: Mike BrookeProtester proud to be a European has 'the blues' about prospect of Brexit. Picture: Mike Brooke

“I agree with the million people on Saturday’s march,” Mr Timms added. “Now we know what the deal is, we should have a public vote on whether to leave or stay in the EU.”

Mr Timms and neighbouring West Ham MP Lyn Brown both campaigned to remain during the 2016 referendum and also voted in the Commons against triggering Article 50 in the first place “to prevent this kind of debacle from unfolding”.

Ms Brown said today: “The fact that five-and-a-half million have signed this petition, including more than 13,000 in West Ham, shows how angry and frustrated people are with this Tory Brexit disaster. I share that anger.

"We're still Europeans!" One of the many mass People's marches to stop Brexit. Picture: Mike Brooke

“We have to find a way out of the crisis to prevent damage to our economy, our communities and our relationships with our European neighbours.”

The prime minister, now on the back foot, was asked by reporters in Brussels on Thursday after her disastrous EU negotiations whether she thought the public’s view had shifted towards revoking Article 50, but would only refer to the 2016 referendum “when there was a clear result that we should leave”.

But the national mood in three years had changed, the east London MPs point out, now that the nation knows the full implications of quitting Europe.

The Parliamentary Petitions committee said nearly 2,000 signatures were being completed every minute, crashing the Petitions website because of the unprecedented number of hits.

The tally of signatures on the petition had reached 5,539,849 by 5pm this-evening (Monday) and rising. An extension to the Brexit deadline could continue several more months, which would mean taking part in the European Parliament elections in May—that would be for a four-year term!

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