The UK ggovernment says in a statement that it will not request the European Union to abort the procedure of the country’s withdrawal and would keep its work on Brexit.
The statement came as a response to a petition, headlined “Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU” and signed by almost 5.8 million of UK residents.
“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,” reads the statement, prepared by the Brexit ministry.
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,” the document continues. “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.”
According to the Petitions Committee at the House of Commons, the document had the highest volume of sign-ups on record. It was registered on February 20 and gathered 10,000 signatures by March 18, 100,000 signatures by March 20, but then went viral, with the number of signatures topping 2 million on the following day.
Under the UK procedures, any petition that has collected more than 10,000 signatures, requires an official response of the government, and should be considered in the parliament after reaching the benchmark of 100,000.
The heads of 27 states and governments unanimously agreed last Thursday to delay Brexit. The UK’s withdrawal from the EU will be postponed either until May 22 if the British parliament endorses by the end of March a Brexit deal with Brussels, or until April 12 in case the deal is not backed.
The deal on Brexit conditions had been earlier twice rejected by the UK parliament on January 15 and March 12. So far, eurosceptics in the Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland that supports May’s government in the parliament, said their stance was unchanged and they would not vote on the deal with the EU in its current form. So, the chances that the House of Commons will approve the deal next week are very slim. The vote is also in question since earlier this week John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, warned that he would not let the government initiate it for the third time until significant changes were introduced