According to The Independent, over a million people have signed a petition to revoke Article 50, which would cancel Brexit. The government’s petition website crashed multiple times on Thursday when thousands of people shared their disapproval of Brexit.
As the one millionth signature was added to the petition, Prime Minister Theresa May arrived in Brussels. She is expected to ask EU leaders to delay Brexit.
“The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’,” the petition’s organizer Margaret Anne Georgiadou said.
“We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now for remaining in the EU. A People’s Vote may not happen – so vote now.”
The Petitions Committee said the rate of signing was the highest the website had ever seen. At 12:45pm, 2,000 people were signing every second.
The petition, which went live in February, received little attention until Wednesday night. Interest in the petition rose when May blamed MPs for the impasse on Brexit in which Britain will be removed from the EU without a withdrawal deal. As the prime minister began her speech, the petition quickly gained 100,000 signatures.
Although the petition has gained record-breaking interest, senior government officials have already begun to dismiss its importance. Leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom, said she knew the website was experiencing outages due to high demand.
“Should it reach 17.4 million respondents then I’m sure there would be a very clear case for taking action,” she added.
“But I do understand it is absolutely right that people do have the opportunity to put their views and that can then spark yet another Brexit debate.”
Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, said it was “possible but highly unlikely” that Britain would withdraw Article 50.