How many people in Welwyn Hatfield are signing the viral Revoke Article 50 petition?
PUBLISHED: 11:08 22 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:37 22 March 2019
A petition demanding that the government revoke Article 50 and cancel Brexit has gone viral nationally, with numbers rising by the hour - we've taken a look at Welwyn Hatfield's response.
The petition titled ‘Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU’ has attracted over three million signatures, most of which have appeared in the last two days.
Signups have come in so thick and fast that the government’s server hosting the petition crashed, several times, prompting Parliament’s petitions committee to tweet that is the highest rate of signing the site has ever had to handle.
“Between 80,000 and 100,000 people have been simultaneously viewing the petition to revoke article 50,” said the committee in a follow-up tweet.
“Nearly 2,000 signatures are being completed every minute.”
The committee has advised that confirmation emails may take up to 24 hours to process.
And at time of writing, 2,141 of those signatures came from Welwyn Hatfield - just under two per cent of the constituency’s population.
This is a lower concentration of signatories than elsewhere.
In some constituencies, as much as seven per cent of the population have signed it.
In the referendum, Welwyn Hatfield tipped a slightly higher-than-average Leave vote, with 53 per cent voting to leave the EU.
Welwyn Hatfield’s MP Grant Shapps wasn’t one of them, but has broadly supported the outcome of the referendum since then - his only act of rebellion being to vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal twice over ongoing concerns about the ‘backstop’ keeping us in the Customs Union.
Reacting to the petition, Mr Shapps said: “Any petition of this size rightly deserves to be debated in parliament and I look forward to the scheduling committee arranging this debate.
“As it so happens, it sounds like we may get indicative votes very soon - perhaps this week - on all manner of Brexit outcomes, including scrapping Article 50.
“I believe that this would actually need to be enacted through a new parliament via a general election, but it’s good that people have their opportunity to express their opinions through this petition in the meantime.”
The petition’s groundswell came just a couple of days before another remain-focused effort, the Put it to the People march on Saturday.