Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Anti-Brexit protesters demonstrate outside the Houses of Parliament on March 13, 2019 in London, England. (Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

More Than One Million Crash UK Petition Site With Demand to Cancel Brexit

"Given the pig's ear the minority Tories have made of Brexit, abetted by Labour, a revocation of Article 50 and a new election would allow these parties to set out their stalls and to give people a choice of voting for a proper plan or to remain."

Julia Conley

The British Parliament's petitions website crashed Thursday morning as over a million of Britons attempted to make their opposition to Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit plan known.

Hours after May chastised members of Parliament for rejecting her Brexit plan a second time, an anti-Brexit petition was gathering about 1,500 signatures per minute when it crashed the website for 40 minutes. The site then briefly went up before failing again.

As of this writing, more than one million people had signed the petition demanding that May's invocation of Article 50 of the European Union's Lisbon Treaty, which allows a country to formally withdraw from the EU, be revoked.

"The government repeatedly claims exiting the E.U. is the will of the people," reads the petition. "We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now for remaining in the E.U. A people's vote may not happen, so vote now."

The petition quickly reached the 100,000-signature threshold to force a debate in Parliament over the proposal after being posted on the government website Wednesday evening.

The site crashed as May was headed to Brussels to ask that the E.U. give her an extension for formalizing Brexit till June 30. 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.

May's current plan involves a "soft" version of the Brexit plan, which 52 percent of voters in the United Kingdom supported in a June 2016 referendum.

In contrast to a "hard" deal which would have involved a complete withdrawal from the E.U., May's deal would include less stringent controls on immigration into the U.K. and would retain its participation in the E.U.'s single market.

Critics of May's deal argue that a "soft" Brexit would still damage the nation's economy.

As Jen Kirby explained at Vox last November after May reached her deal with the E.U., "every political camp within the UK has found something to hate in this agreement": 

The hardline "Brexiteers" in her party are virulently opposed—though it's unlikely they'd be pleased by any deal. They see May's deal as preventing the U.K. from reclaiming control of its borders and laws, and blocking it from making trade deals with other countries...

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...

The bottom line: Few are satisfied with this compromise, because the U.K. is splintered between those who want out of the E.U. and those who never wanted to leave in the first place. No side actually "wins" with this deal.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn called May's continued attempts to salvage the deal and move towards a withdrawal from the E.U. in June "unacceptable and reckless."

Before Parliament rejected May's deal for a first time in January—by the largest margin in the British government's history—Corbyn was among those who called for a new election if the plan failed.

On social media, other critics called for a new Brexit referndum and new elections as a way to put controversy behind the country.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.


Right-Wing Justices Should Be Impeached for Lying Under Oath, Says Ocasio-Cortez

"We have a responsibility to protect our democracy," said the New York Democrat. "That includes holding those in power who violate the law accountable."

Kenny Stancil ·

'Infuriating': Biden Rebuked for Continued Opposition to Supreme Court Expansion

"What does Biden 'agree' with doing?" Mehdi Hasan asked. "What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights?"

Kenny Stancil ·

'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·

Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·

'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo