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Government response to Brexit petitions

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petition, revoke Article 50, debate, Parliament, 1 April 2019, watch the debate“…failing to deliver Brexit would cause “potentially irreparable damage to public trust”.

Over 5 million people signed a petition recently calling on the UK government to revoke Article 50 and for the UK to remain in the European Union.

The government’s response, via the Department for Exiting the European Union, was given on 26 March 2019:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

This Government stands by this commitment.

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 statement ends there.

MPs debated three petitions about leaving the European Union, rather (in)appropriately on 1 April 2019.

The debate was opened by Catherine McKinnell MP, a member of the Petitions Committee.

You can watch it by clicking here.

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