Saffron Walden leads Essex on 'stop Brexit' action - but MP says 'country is run on elections, not petitions'

PUBLISHED: 15:47 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:56 25 March 2019

Kemi Badenoch, MP for Saffron Walden.

Kemi Badenoch, MP for Saffron Walden.

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More than 10,000 people in the constituency of Saffron Walden have signed a petition to revoke Article 50 and remain the EU - the highest number of signatures in Essex - but MP Kemi Badenoch says “we run the country based on elections and not petitions”.

The petition, which calls for Brexit to be cancelled, has gained more than five million signatures with the host website crashing at one point, due to the volume of visitors adding their names.

A ‘petition map’ on the website reveals the number and percentage of people in each constituency who have signed.

In Saffron Walden, 10,292 people have signed the petition, followed by Colchester (9,122) and Chelmsford (9,024).

Nearby Braintree has 5,541 signatures and Witham has 5,622, while South Cambridgeshire has some 18,837 signatures and Cambridge has more than 25,000.

The lowest number of signatures in Essex came from Clacton (2,489) and Castle Point (2,897).

Essex MEP Alex Mayer shared the figures and announced she is backing the petition.

“There is a growing movement to stop the Brexit mess. More and more people are telling me they feel the last two and a half years have been a national humiliation,” she said. “But there is still time to pause and think again which is why I’m backing this petition. It is time to put this back to the people.”

As the petition has reached more than 100,000 signatures the issue will be considered for debate in parliament.

But MP for Saffron Walden, Kemi Badenoch, said: “I appreciate there are those in the constituency that wish to remain in the EU and many people have signed the petition to revoke Article 50.

“It is always a positive thing to see engagement in politics but we run the country based on elections and not petitions - 17.4 million people voted to leave the EU in 2016 with almost 80,000 people voting to Leave in Uttlesford and Chelmsford. Also 80 per cent of the national vote in the 2017 general election went to parties who were committed to delivering Brexit.

“I continue to believe we should honour the result of the 2016 referendum by leaving with a good deal that works for everyone. The withdrawal agreement remains the best compromise that respects the result for both leavers and remainers.

“Not least of all because of the guarantees for citizens, the commitment to ending freedom of movement and keeping an open border on the island of Ireland.”

According to the BBC, Downing Street said the prime minister “has said many times she will not countenance revoking Article 50”.

The PM’s spokesman added: “The PM has long been clear that failing to deliver on the referendum result would be a failure of democracy and a failure she wouldn’t countenance.”

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