Tuesday , January 19 2021

Article 50: MPs are going to discuss a six million-signature petition

Theresa MayCopyright copyright

Caption of image

Theresa May signs the official letter to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council calling Article 50 in March 2017 t

A petition calling for the UK to remain in the EU, which has collected more than six million signatures, will be debated in Parliament later.

The petition, which requires Article 50 to be revoked, is the most popular since the launch of the e-petitions website.

In the debate, starting at 16:30, two other petitions are also discussed.

One, who insists on a new referendum, has over 180,000 signatures. The other, encouraging MPs to "honor the referendum result", has over 170,000.

The government has said it will not abolish Article 50 and we are working to secure an agreement that "ensures the UK leaves the EU".

Monday's debate will be opened by Labor MP Catherine McKinnell.

Article 50 is the legal mechanism for conducting Brexit – and would therefore be canceled by the UK in the EU.

The UK was due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, two years after Article 50 was triggered, but European leaders agreed to postpone the date, after Theresa May failed to get its Brexit agreement. to be approved by MPs.

Last year the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the UK could repeal Article 50 itself, without having to ask 27 other EU countries for permission.

An Article 50 petition commenced in February and quickly passed the 100,000-signature threshold required for debate in Parliament.

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AFP / Getty Images

Caption of image

The UK ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow (L), presents Mrs May's formal notice of the UK's intention to leave the EU to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk.

By 23 March, the petition was signed four million times, at one time causing the Parliament's petition website to collapse.

People signing petitions on the website are asked to tick a box saying they are a British citizen or resident in the UK and to confirm their name, email address and postcode.

In 2016, after the UK voted to leave the EU, by 52% to 48%, in the referendum on 23 June, a petition for another EU referendum attracted more than four million signatures; i was discussed at House of Commons – but thousands of signatures were after it was found to be kidnapped by automated pots.

In January 2019, MPs argued whether the UK should leave the EU without a bargain, after a petition calling for that to reach 137,731 signatures.

On Monday, MPs will also discuss their alternatives to Mrs May's Brexit deal, in an effort to see if any majority order option can.

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