The petition to Revoke Article 50 reached six million signatures, but less than one tory MP per MILLION people was prepared to discuss the idea.
The petition to Revoke Article 50 reached six million signatures at the end of March, well surpassing the 100,000 signatures needed to trigger a debate in the House of Commons on its way to becoming the most signed parliamentary e-petition of all time.
At one point, the petition– launched at the end of February–was receiving over 2000 signatures per minute, causing the parliamentary petitions website to crash several times.
This success ensured that its demand for Article 50 to be revoked was to be debated by MPs at 4.30pm on 1 April, the House of Commons Petitions Committee said.
And, as is fitting for that date, the Tories ensured that debate was nothing more than a complete farce.
Firstly the debate was held in Westminster Hall alongside two other petitions, both of which concerned the result of the 2016 referendum and the UK’s place in the EU, both of which garnered less than 200,000 signatures.
More damning than this, fewer than six Tory MPs actually bothered to turn up for the debate.
Less than one per-million people who signed that petition.
Chris Leslie, MP for the Independent group has insisted that the petition of such magnitude should not simply be ‘nodded through’ Westminster. Rather, it should be brought to the House of Commons main chamber to be debated in -front of the Prime Minister and senior cabinet members.
He told MPs: “It is now our duty, faced with this six million petition, to not have it pigeonholed and side-lined here in Westminster Hall, but to take those views and have that voice heard in front of the government.
“Not just a junior minister, but the prime minister and senior cabinet ministers need to hear the voices of the people.”
Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Conservative government treated this cry from 6 million members of the British public with such disdain.
Theresa May–herself responsible for a huge surge in signatures after she laughably blamed parliament for the failure of her deal in a speech on March 20th–dismissed the petition through a spokesperson saying that “a failure to deliver Brexit would cause potentially irreparable damage to public trust.”
Really? This raises several questions.
Does May believe that ignoring 6-million people is an exercise in confidence building?
Could public trust in this Government be any lower at this point?
What effect does she think asking the Commons to vote on her dead duck withdrawal deal four times have? For that matter, what about the fact that it has been rejected an equal amount of times?
At this point in the Brexit kerfuffle the Government should be looking to the British public for solutions, not treating their concerns and contentions with utter contempt.
And of course, those that support ‘Leave’ should also be concerned with this blatant disregard for public opinion. The Government arent showing this contempt because it’s ‘Remoaners’ winging again. They don’t care what anyone thinks or believes is the best way forward.
All they seem to care about is upholding the result of a 2016 non-binding, advisory, Referendum.
Only three days before MPs debated the suggestion to revoke Article 50, the day we were supposed to be leaving the EU–March 29th, the ‘Leave’ campaign quietly dropped their appeal against fines levied against them for breaking electoral law.
As an Electoral Commission spokesman told the BBC: “Vote Leave has today withdrawn its appeal and related proceedings against the Electoral Commission’s finding of multiple offences under electoral law, committed during the 2016 EU referendum campaign.
“Vote Leave was the designated lead campaigner for the leave outcome at the referendum.
“We found that it broke the electoral rules set out by Parliament to ensure fairness, confidence and legitimacy at an electoral event. Serious offences such as these undermine public confidence in our system and it is vital, therefore, that they are properly investigated and sanctioned.
“We have been advised that Vote Leave has paid its £61,000 fine and look forward to receiving the sum in full.”
So, it is well-established that the victorious ‘Leave’ campaign broke numerous laws–something which no one in Westminster seems to believe severely calls that referendum result into question.
But great swathes of the public do. And the Tories aren’t listening.