The U.K. government’s official petitions website crashed on Thursday morning after a petition to cancel Brexit drew 600,000 signatures.

The petition was receiving some 1,500 signatures every 60 seconds before the site crashed at about 9 a.m. U.K. time, the Guardian reported. Three and a half hours later, the site was still having problems, though the total number of signatures was more than 850,000 and still rising.

The text of the petition read, “The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’. 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.”

A surge of signatures came on Wednesday evening, after Prime Minister Theresa May made a defiant televised speech at her 10 Downing Street residence blaming lawmakers for the Brexit impasse, pledging to deliver Brexit and telling voters “I am on your side.”

With just eight days remaining before the U.K. is scheduled to leave the E.U., the country still has not finalized a Brexit deal, setting the country on a course to crash out of the bloc with no transition arrangements in place.

TIMEThe U.K. government’s petition website shows the number of signatures for a petition demanding the government cancel Article 50 and remain in the E.U.

May’s statement blaming lawmakers for the Brexit crisis was received sourly by members of her own party as well as opposition parties, many of whom argue it is their duty to vote against May’s deal as it is bad for the country. Sam Gyimah, who resigned as a minister in May’s government last year in protest against her Brexit deal, called her speech “Toxic.”

“Resorting to the ‘blame game’ as the PM is doing is a low blow,” he wrote on Twitter. “Democracy loses when a PM who has set herself against the [House of Commons] then blames [lawmakers] for doing their job.”

On Wednesday, May wrote a letter to the European Council President, Donald Tusk, asking for Brexit to be delayed. On Thursday, she will meet European leaders, who each have the power to veto that request.

The E.U. has to accept that request in order for a no-deal Brexit to be avoided on March 29. But there is one move May can make: revoking Article 50 (the legal device by which Britain is leaving the E.U.), thus effectively cancelling Brexit.

For May, that option is unconscionable. But many Brits believe revoking Article 50 is the only remaining option to avert what even May’s own office now admits is a “crisis.”

If the E.U. accepts May’s request for an extension, it is likely Brexit will be delayed until June 30. If it does not, it remains possible that Britain could crash out of the E.U. without a deal on March 29.


Full Article: U.K. Petition Site Crashes as More Than 850,000 Demand the Government Cancels Brexit“>U.K. Petition Site Crashes as More Than 850,000 Demand the Government Cancels Brexit
Source: U.K. Petition Site Crashes as More Than 850,000 Demand the Government Cancels Brexit“>Time News

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