The Government Has Responded To The Stop Brexit Petition And It's Not Going To Please Signatories

Chris York

The government has responded to the hugely popular Revoke Article 50 petition by shooting it down even as it approaches six million signatures.

A statement from the Department for Exiting the European Union, said stopping Brexit would “break the promises made by government to the British people, disrespect the clear instruction from a democratic vote, and in turn, reduce confidence in our democracy”.

It added:

This government will not revoke Article 50. We will honour the result of the 2016 referendum and work with Parliament to deliver a deal that ensures we leave the European Union.

But it was also announced the petition will be debated by MPs on 1 April in the Commons’ secondary chamber, Westminster Hall, and will be streamed live on Parliament TV.

The Commons Petitions Committee said the petition – which passed 5.75 million signatures on Tuesday evening – was “the most signed petition ever received on the House of Commons and government petitions site”.

The petition as it stood on Tuesday evening.

MPs will also debate petitions calling for a second EU referendum, which has received more than 120,000 signatures, and another – signed by more than 140,000 – demanding that the UK leave with or without a deal on March 29, the Press Association reports.

The announcement comes as it was revealed senior Tory backbenchers will demand that Theresa May sets a timetable for her resignation tomorrow as their price for backing her Brexit deal.

The prime minister will address the Conservative 1922 Committee on Wednesday, with party sources confirming that there is a “clear expectation” that she will signal fresh details of her departure.

Committee chairman Sir Graham Brady has communicated to the PM that more “clarity” on her future would be welcomed by backbenchers, one insider told HuffPost UK.

Read more on that story here...

The government response in full: 

It remains the government’s firm policy not to revoke Article 50. We will honour the outcome of the 2016 referendum and work to deliver an exit which benefits everyone, whether they voted to Leave or to Remain.

Revoking Article 50, and thereby remaining in the European Union, would undermine both our democracy and the trust that millions of voters have placed in government.

The government acknowledges the considerable number of people who have signed this petition. However, close to three quarters of the electorate took part in the 2016 referendum, trusting that the result would be respected. This government wrote to every household prior to the referendum, promising that the outcome of the referendum would be implemented. 17.4 million people then voted to leave the European Union, providing the biggest democratic mandate for any course of action ever directed at UK government.

British people cast their votes once again in the 2017 general election where over 80% of those who voted, voted for parties, including the Opposition, who committed in their manifestos to upholding the result of the referendum.

This government stands by this commitment.

Revoking Article 50 would break the promises made by government to the British people, disrespect the clear instruction from a democratic vote, and in turn, reduce confidence in our democracy. As the Prime Minister has said, failing to deliver Brexit would cause “potentially irreparable damage to public trust”, and it is imperative that people can trust their government to respect their votes and deliver the best outcome for them.

Department for Exiting the European Union.