Government announces refusal to accept ‘Revoke Article 50’ petition, no matter how many people sign it

So much for democracy under a Conservative government.

So much for its ePetitions website, which was introduced as a huge step towards giving the people a stronger voice in government (if you can remember that long ago).

So what does the government response to the ‘Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU’ petition actually mean? Nothing at all.

The statement was released on the day the petition topped 5.8 million signatures. Although the rate at which people are signing has slowed considerably, it still seems likely that more will have signed it than voted for Brexit in the EU referendum, by the time the revised departure date of April 12 comes around.

Opponents of the petition’s aim have tried to undermine it by claiming it has been overrun by bots, foreign people signing it under the pretence of being British, and multiple signings by the same people. There is no evidence to support these claims.

As for the government’s statement – well, let us examine it.

This Government will not revoke Article 50. We will honour the result of the 2016 referendum and work with Parliament to deliver a deal that ensures we leave the European Union.

Translation: “Expect a general election soon. We are unable to deliver a deal that both Parliament and we can accept.”

It remains the Government’s firm policy not to revoke Article 50. We will honour the outcome of the 2016 referendum and work to deliver an exit which benefits everyone, whether they voted to Leave or to Remain.

But we know that Brexit will harm the economy – that it has already done so, thereby harming those who voted Leave and Remain alike.

Revoking Article 50, and thereby remaining in the European Union, would undermine both our democracy and the trust that millions of voters have placed in Government.

Voters put their trust in governments to lead their nations to prosperity – not ruin. We have seen that Brexit is hugely harmful to the UK economy, yet the Conservative government is determined to pitch us over that metaphorical cliff.

Therefore this statement confirms that the government does not deserve your trust.

The Government acknowledges the considerable number of people who have signed this petition. However, close to three quarters of the electorate took part in the 2016 referendum, trusting that the result would be respected. This Government wrote to every household prior to the referendum, promising that the outcome of the referendum would be implemented. 17.4 million people then voted to leave the European Union, providing the biggest democratic mandate for any course of action ever directed at UK Government.

Gosh. And if more than 17.4 million people sign the petition, that will provide the biggest democratic mandate for any course of action ever directed at the UK government.

One wonders whether this statement, made at a time when the petition is one-third of the way to passing 17.4 million, has been timed to discourage people from signing.

The statement also fails to acknowledge that the question posed by the referendum was flawed, in that no attempt was made to describe the form in which the UK’s departure from the European Union would take. This failure has led to nearly three years of paralysis, with the government failing to strike a withdrawal agreement with the EU, and failing to address the “burning injustices” (as Theresa May famously described them) at home.

It fails to acknowledge that many of the three-quarters of the electorate who took part in the referendum, even though its terms were vague beyond incompetence, may have done so in the knowledge that abstaining might result in a huge national mistake.

And you should note well that the government chooses it set the referendum above the petition, even though it has denied us the opportunity to have another referendum to gauge public feeling now. In such circumstances, it seems the petition is the only avenue via which people may make their opinions felt, but the government is saying it will not take any notice of those opinions. That is not democracy.

British people cast their votes once again in the 2017 General Election where over 80% of those who voted, voted for parties, including the Opposition, who committed in their manifestos to upholding the result of the referendum.

How disingenuous. The government has no way of knowing that any members of the electorate voted on the basis of the parties’ policies on Brexit. Opinion within all UK political parties is divided, as the last few months of deadlock have proved beyond any doubt.

And the electorate votes for candidates – not parties.

This Government stands by this commitment.

Even though it does not know whether the majority of the people voted to support it.

Revoking Article 50 would break the promises made by Government to the British people, disrespect the clear instruction from a democratic vote, and in turn, reduce confidence in our democracy. As the Prime Minister has said, failing to deliver Brexit would cause “potentially irreparable damage to public trust”, and it is imperative that people can trust their Government to respect their votes and deliver the best outcome for them.

The whole farce of Brexit has already caused “potentially irreparable damage to public trust”. What else may we conclude from the fact that only seven per cent of the population consider the Conservative government to have handled this matter well?

If it really is “imperative that people can trust their Government to respect their votes and deliver the best outcome for them”, then the current Conservative government has no mandate to continue.

More than 80 per cent of the population do not believe the Conservative government is capable of delivering “the best outcome for them”. Many of us do not believe the Conservative government ever tried to do so.

Based on a response like that quoted above, it seems clear that the UK electorate should demand a general election before this fiasco goes on any longer.

If the Tories are determined to fail us, it is time to seek a government that won’t.

28 thoughts on “Government announces refusal to accept ‘Revoke Article 50’ petition, no matter how many people sign it

  1. SteveH

    Brexit isn’t the only area where people profoundly mistrust the government’s competence and integrity.
    The report finds the DWP “suffers a chronic lack of trust amongst both the general public and ill and disabled people, making it impossible for the department to ever meaningfully engage with these groups and provide successful employment support.”
    According to the report’s findings, “only 27% of the public would trust Jobcentres to help them find work and understand their personal situation, falling to just 18% of disabled people.”
    Demos also discovered that “60% of disabled people do not believe the DWP understand their concerns, with only 19% trusting Jobcentre staff to treat them fairly.”

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yes, but there won’t be a vote. And the petition will continue to gain signatures. I think holding the debate four months before its closing date is an attempt to ensure that the government doesn’t have to address the tricky question of what to do if the number of signatures exceeds the number of referendum votes in favour of Brexit.

      1. Robbie

        Yes there is no vote which I believe is the case with all debated epetitions and while there may be reservations about it being held so soon I anticipate that many would equally find fault if it was delayed until the closing date.

      2. Robbie

        Maybe it is maybe it is not, but I suggest that there would be similar discontent if the government delayed any debate until after the petition closed, don’t you?

  2. nmac064

    An excellent summing up of the totally disgraceful situation these Tory criminals have landed the country in and the lies they continue to tell.

  3. Georgie The Poodle (@HowsThis4AName)

    Even though I don’t support the petition, and by way of testing its ‘security’, I managed to sign the ‘Revoke Article 50’ petition three times. Daresay many others have done the same to produce that ludicrous number count of whatever millions have now shoved in their numerous scammed signings. This particular petition could be understood to be ‘fixed’ for obvious governmental Remain garnering reasons.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      And how many of your signatures were rejected? Do you even know? Do they tell you? How do we know that you really did sign three times?

    2. John D. Ingleson

      Georgie Who? DFTT – they get a bonus from II for each press of ‘REPLY’ Doh!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It was signed “Department for Exiting the European Union”. I know – it’s no help.

  4. Ian Hall-Dixon

    If democracy cannot change its mind, then it is not democracy. The government is using the referendum as an excuse to hide behind while they implement a Brexit that suits their real agenda; hint – it has something to do with ‘big money’ (work it out yourself) and most certainly to do with completing the Thatcher agenda of creating a firm two tier society of “born to rule” Tories in the ascendent with the rest of use as compliant plebs.

  5. Ray

    You cannot sign it three time you have to comfirm you want to be added and also trying to sign it a second time you are told you have already signed it and can`t sign it again,so that person is saying bulls*hit.

    1. Robbie

      Not if he uses different email addresses and perhaps even slightly different ways of printing his name. Jonny Smith -Jones, Jon S-Jones…..

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        My understanding is that any such attempts could be weeded out quite easily.

      2. Robbie

        Different email addresses and different names and no post code, perhaps and submitted on different days, maybe….I wonder how they a re weeded out….interesting.

      3. Mike Sivier Post author

        As you have complained that there has to be a postcode, and we know that suspicious names which may be multiples, that use the same postcode are checked, I think it’s clear there are no serious grounds on which to doubt the veracity of the signatures.

      4. Robbie

        Forgive me, Mike, but I think I said “and no post code” which applies if you simply tick UK citizen.

      5. Mike Sivier Post author

        But you have complained elsewhere that a postcode has to be included. So “and no post code” is not possible.

      6. Robbie

        I have been a great pains elsewhere to point out that a post code is not, repeat not, an essential if one confirms one is a British citizen. I have never, repeat never, said it has to be included…I cannot do so being abroad in a country where the coding is numerical and unacceptable on epetitions..

      7. Mike Sivier Post author

        You are mistaken, then. I had to input my postcode and I confirmed I was British. Also, you’re a British citizen, aren’t you? It’s just that you live abroad. If not, why we’re you trying to sign the petition at all? And your experience shows it is NOT easy to sign if you aren’t entitled to do it.

      8. Robbie

        No, I am not mistaken. You may have put in your UK Post code but an overseas one – mine is purely numerical – is rejected but leaving it blank and entering the country as well as confirming British citizenship enables one to sign.

      9. Mike Sivier Post author

        We were discussing UK residents inputting UK postcodes, I thought. Are you sure you’re not confused?

  6. hugosmum70

    QUOTE”reduce confidence in our democracy. As the Prime Minister has said, failing to deliver Brexit would cause “potentially irreparable damage to public trust”, and it is imperative that people can trust their Government to respect their votes and deliver the best outcome for them.”UNQUOTE
    dont they know that the biggest majority of their voters lost confidence and trust in them a long long time ago,…???

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