Government ePetitions website crashes as thousands PER MINUTE call for Brexit to be revoked

Backfire: Theresa May’s Brexit statement proved hugely divisive (as she intended) – but with general opinion siding against her (which she probably didn’t). Open mouth, insert foot…

That’s handy, isn’t it? The government ePetitions website crashed at a time when 1,500 people per minute were trying to sign a petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked and Brexit halted.

The petition, launched about a month ago, started gaining signatures in huge numbers after Theresa May’s statement yesterday evening (March 20).

It seems signatories objected to the prime minister’s claim that members of the public want her to “get on with” Brexit, and that she is “on your side”.

It had received almost 600,000 signatures when it went down around 9am today (March 21). The site was restored by 9.40am but crashed again shortly afterwards.

Some might say the faults were fortuitous for a government that has done little over the last two years except spend huge amounts of time, effort and money trying to get us all to accept a departure from the European Union that will benefit only a tiny minority, rather than the nation as a whole.

However, at the time of writing (3pm, March 21) it is up again and showing more than one million signatures.

That’s nearly half a million signatures in six hours. Do a quick bit of maths and you’ll see that a question arises:

What if this petition tops 17.4 million signatures – totalling more people than voted for Brexit in the first place?

Andrea Leadsom, leader of the House of Commons, addressed this in the debate on her statement regarding the business of the House next week, saying: “Should the petition reach more than 17.4 million signatures, there would be a very clear case for taking action.”

So it seems the general public could have a final say on Brexit after all?

For clarity, if you would like to sign the petition, please visit the government website here.

No Comments

  1. Annabella Laws March 21, 2019 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    The website can’t stay up more then 2min before it crashes again. Here’s the link to said petition. but it’s the WHOLE gov site that goes down.

  2. Joan Edington March 21, 2019 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    The idea sounds good Mike but I should imagine it’s impossible with the UK gov’s crass website. I signed this morning and waited for my confirmation e-mail. No joy for 30 mins and had to go to the hairdresser. Came back around 2 hours later and found the e-mail had come in around 10 mins earlier. At that rate, no chance.

  3. Barry Davies March 21, 2019 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    It’s what happens when a pillock uses a Denial of service bot

  4. dsbacon2017 March 21, 2019 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    The more and more Brexit becomes unpopular and clearly unworkable and the more and more people now want to remain in the EU the more determined May seems to be to frustrate the new “Will of the People.” She really is the limit.

  5. Neilth March 21, 2019 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    Not getting a confirmatory email so I’m guessing there are far more voters than they’re saying

  6. Stu March 21, 2019 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    This is just a reflection of the same frustation that people felt with the referendum.
    Many voted Brexit purely as a protest because their voices were being ignored by MPs.
    This was acknowleged by MPs who promised to address it but never did which brings you to here…

  7. Rusle March 21, 2019 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    Still down at 7.13 pm

  8. Zippi March 21, 2019 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Although this is valid, since the referendum, we have heard much from the people who didn’t like the result, demonstrations, marches and now this petition but what of those who want it? we hear nothing from them, because the result was to leave. I wonder if a similar petition, calling for us to leave, was doing the rounds, how many signatories it would have. We may never know. As far the 17.4 million voters, thagt’s precisely the point; they 17.4 million people who got out and voted, as per our democratic system. We may not like the result but that’s way that our system works.

    • Mike Sivier March 24, 2019 at 7:37 pm - Reply

      We’ve heard an awful lot from the people who supported leaving the EU, too. Most of it has been wild disagreement about what leaving actually means – because nobody responsible for the referendum had the intelligence to map this out in advance and make clear exactly what they were suggesting at the time of the vote. And some of it has been vilification of those who have found fault with the referendum and the Brexit process – rightly or wrongly.

      • Zippi March 25, 2019 at 12:58 pm - Reply

        I meant in terms of honoring the result. This petition opposes the result. If the result had been to remain, those who voted that way would be protesting, marching, or signing petitions.

        • Mike Sivier March 26, 2019 at 2:06 pm - Reply

          No – we’ve heard an awful lot from leavers about honouring the result as well. A huge amount.

      • Zippi March 26, 2019 at 10:20 pm - Reply

        Methinks that if it looks like there are moves to overturn the result, we’ll be hearing a great deal more.

  9. nmac064 March 22, 2019 at 9:29 am - Reply

    When I last looked numbers had exceeded one and a half million.

  10. Justin Pascoe March 22, 2019 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Where’s the proof they’re from england. The petition calling for Fraser Anning to be sacked from the Australian corporate Parliament gained 1.7 million votes, the vast majority were from international signatories. Proper statistics from English residents need to be officially posted before anyone believes this rot.

    • Mike Sivier March 22, 2019 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      It’s impossible to sign if you are not a UK citizen.

      • Robbie March 23, 2019 at 3:08 am - Reply

        I think all you have to do is tick that you are a UK citizen…but that does not guarantee you are…anyway the democratic process in deciding and activating the process to leave has already been undertaken and it is sad that some people cannot accept that. I will not sign the petition; I was denied the right to vote initially.

        • Mike Sivier March 23, 2019 at 6:19 pm - Reply

          The democratic process you mention was subjected to criminal interference and the petition will have more validity.

      • Robbie March 24, 2019 at 4:18 am - Reply

        Don’t see how a flawed petition can necessarily have greater validity than a flawed referendum.

        • Mike Sivier March 24, 2019 at 7:12 pm - Reply

          Neither do I. As this petition isn’t flawed – or at least you have not demonstrated that it is – there is no reason to suggest any comparison may be made.

      • Zippi March 24, 2019 at 2:15 pm - Reply

        Mike, you say that the petition will have more validity; my question is one of eligibility. Who is signing this petition?

        • Mike Sivier March 24, 2019 at 6:59 pm - Reply

          People who are eligible to sign this petition.

      • Robbie March 25, 2019 at 2:45 am - Reply

        I needed more than one email address in connection with visa and overseas residence permits so like many people I could, if I was so inclined sign more than once…as has been pointed out on twitter. and of course some are saying that the number of signatures when compared to the Vote Leave is relevant.

        • Mike Sivier March 26, 2019 at 1:37 pm - Reply

          My understanding is that any signature that appears suspicious is weeded out. Can you prove that people have used alternative email addresses to sign twice?

      • Zippi March 25, 2019 at 12:56 pm - Reply

        Are they eligible to vote?

        • Mike Sivier March 26, 2019 at 2:05 pm - Reply

          You will have to ask the organisers of the government’s ePetitions website.

      • Robbie March 26, 2019 at 3:41 pm - Reply

        There is no actual signature on the petition, just a name…and, for example, how many John Smiths are there and which one is suspicious. My point is that it is perfectly possible for an individual to have more than one email address and could you diffrentiate between Ian Duncan Smith, Ian D. Smith, I. D. Smith, I Smith……The petition is flawed because it allows more than one “vote” per person.

        • Mike Sivier March 26, 2019 at 4:25 pm - Reply

          And what of the fact that all signatories have to put their postcode to the petition? Their identities can be checked; your claim is false.

      • Zippi March 26, 2019 at 10:29 pm - Reply

        There appear not to be any criteria for signatories, other than that they must be U.K. citizens, or U.K. residents.

        • Mike Sivier March 27, 2019 at 12:11 am - Reply

          Those are the only criteria necessary.

      • Robbie March 27, 2019 at 3:05 am - Reply

        They do not have to put a Post Code if they claim to be a British Citizen…I am abroad at present and do not have one..

        • Mike Sivier March 27, 2019 at 1:27 pm - Reply

          That is not true. I said I was a UK citizen and had to provide a postcode.

      • Robbie March 27, 2019 at 3:20 pm - Reply

        Sorry Mike you are wrong – I do not have a post code but have signed several petitions which I know have been accepted because I was subsequently advised of the result.

        • Mike Sivier March 27, 2019 at 8:03 pm - Reply

          I can only comment on my own personal experience, in which a postcode was required. I do not know or recognise any instance in which it is not.

      • Robbie March 28, 2019 at 1:27 am - Reply

        This epetition is one…if you haven’t got a Post code you can’t give one, can you? If you can only comment from personal experience how about acknowledging that others have personal experience too which might, just might, more reliable than yours and apologise?

        • Mike Sivier March 31, 2019 at 7:35 pm - Reply

          Are you seriously telling me that you live in a place that doesn’t even have an equivalent to a postcode?

      • Robbie March 30, 2019 at 11:16 am - Reply

        I have lived abroad since 2004 with only a few weeks in the UK. The government introduced epetitions in 2007 and I have signed quite a number. I did not have a post code, I completed the confirmation request, it was not rejected and i was subsequently advised of the outcome. While commenting on your own experience is fine but sometimes others have a wider experience and can clarify the position.

        • Mike Sivier March 31, 2019 at 7:24 pm - Reply

          But elsewhere you say people who have been away for 15 years are disenfranchised. I don’t think you are clarifying the situation. Please explain exactly what happens.

      • Robbie April 1, 2019 at 1:41 pm - Reply

        People who have lived abroad for less that fifteen years are entitled to vote in the UK constituency they resided in last..provided they have applied to remain or be put on that electoral register. Over fifteen years absence and there is no entitlement (as of now), see Oversea Voters and Votes for Life HOC debate last week. As regards Post Codes, the countries I am most recently connected with, Thailand and Turkey, have straight numerical area codes only: the epetitions will not accept them..

  11. Sandra March 22, 2019 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    I signed it yesterday. Out of curiosity I clicked on your link and as of a couple of minutes ago it now stands at 3,153,074

    • Mike Sivier March 22, 2019 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      Remember it is only updating every 30 minutes.

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