Government rejects petition to revoke article 50 and remain in EU
*Pretends to be shocked*
That petition you've seen all over social media for the past week, the one calling for the government to revoke article 50, cancel Brexit and remain in the EU, is currently on 5.8 million signatures.
A petition only needs 100,000 signatures to be debated in parliament usually, and it's safe to say this one has surpassed that by quite a big margin.
However, the government has rejected the petition, saying it will not cancel Brexit, to the surprise of absolutely nobody.
In an official response posted on the parliamentary petitions website, the Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) said: “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.
“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."
It added: “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 per cent 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.”
The petition will nonetheless be debated in the House of Commons' secondary chamber Westminster Hall, next week on Monday April 1.
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 the UK leave with or without a deal on 29 March.
The reasoning behind debating all three petitions in one sitting is "to ensure they were debated as soon as possible, so they would be less likely to be overtaken by events."
Very few people who signed the petition will have expected the petition to lead to a change in government policy. However, it has reminded the government that there is huge opposition to Brexit, especially to Theresa May's deal.