Leo Varadkar and Theresa May discuss Brexit at bilateral meeting in Brussels

Jeannie Matthews
March 22, 2019

"We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU".

The number of people signing the petition created by Margaret Anne Georgiadou was rising rapidly Thursday afternoon, reaching a speed of 1,000 people a minute.

However, House of Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, herself a Brexiteer, dismissed the petition as not being on the same scale as the pro-Brexit vote in the June 2016 referendum, when 17.4 million people voted to leave the EU. And she told voters: "I am on your side".

The number of signatures picked up steam following a speech by Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday evening, in which she claimed that the Brexit crisis was not her fault, but rather the fault of politicians who refused to vote for the deal she had negotiated with the EU.

Supporters wrote on Twitter that the petition showed the strength of feeling against May's strategy while backers of Brexit said it needed to attract more signatures than the 17.4 million people who voted to leave the European Union three years ago before anyone should take any notice.

Theresa May has described the delay to Brexit as a "matter of great personal regret", adding: "It is now time for MPs to decide".

It is now heading towards 700,000 signatures, with more than 40,000 people signing it in the past hour.

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By posting steady updates on the petition figures, the account quickly reeled in more than 7,000 followers. It also advises, "Don't click the link to the petition unless you haven't signed it!"

The agreement came after seven hours of hard negotiations, which an European Union diplomat described as the first moment of broken unity between the EU27 throughout the Brexit process.

May has said it would be "unacceptable" to ask British voters to do this nearly three years after they decided in the 2016 referendum to leave the European Union.

The new petition also paints a map of where the "remain" sentiment runs strong in the United Kingdom, with areas such as London, Cambridge and Manchester showing the most support, along with Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland.

May set the Brexit timeline in motion in March of 2017, when she officially invoked Article 50. May had originally planned for the U.K.to officially leave the E.U.by March 29, but Parliament has twice rejected her plan by wide margins in the past two months, most recently in a 242-391 vote on March 12.

Labour has its own disagreements about Brexit within the party, but it has collectively rejected May's deal, saying it doesn't meet their required pillars for a satisfactory Brexit.

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