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An online petition asking the British government to revoke Brexit briefly crashed on Thursday after a surge in support saw it garner more than 600,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.
With just eight days to go until Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union, the petition launched on Wednesday admitted that a second referendum “may not happen — so vote now”.
“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,” the petition read.
A House of Commons spokesman said the technical difficulties on the website for the petition were caused by “a large and sustained load on the system”.
The petition was started by Margaret Anne Georgiadou, who told the BBC: “It’s almost like a dam bursting.
“It’s now or never for a lot of people,” she said.
Britain’s parliament will be able to vote next week on a range of preferred courses of action for the government to take if MPs reject for a third time a divorce deal negotiated by Prime Minister Theresa May.
One of those options could be to revoke Article 50 — the formal procedure under which Britain is negotiating to leave the bloc after 46 years of membership.
Parliament last week voted against holding a second referendum after the main opposition Labour Party, which has been highly ambivalent on the issue, abstained.
Georgiadou, who voted to stay in the EU in the 2016 referendum, said Remainers like her had been “silenced and ignored” since that vote.
“In a democracy, everyone’s included. In a referendum, the losers have no voice. I was annoyed about that,” she said.