More than 1.3m people sign petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked – including 40,000 from Greater Manchester

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Tens of thousands of Greater Manchester residents have helped to crash the UK Government petitions website calling for Article 50 to be revoked.

As of this evening (Thursday, March 21), 40,183 residents from the city region were among 1.3m nationally asking the government to put aside the result of the Brexit referendum and keep Britain in the EU .

Residents in Manchester Withington constituency were the most enthusiastic with 4,897 signing, while some 3,665 from the Manchester Central constituency had signed it at 7pm.

The petition – created on the February 14 – began gaining signatures yesterday evening (Wednesday, March 20) after Theresa May ‘s speech criticising MPs for not backing her Brexit deal.

The website has been intermittently crashing due to a high volume of traffic.

It calls on the Government to revoke Article 50, and says: “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. A People’s Vote may not happen – so vote now.”

It comes as the European Union looks set to offer to delay Brexit until May 22, so long as MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal in a House of Commons vote next week.

Here is a full list of signatories by parliamentary constituencies in Greater Manchester:

Manchester Withington: 4897

Manchester Central: 3665

Atrincham and Sale West: 2718

Manchester Gorton: 2430

Stretford and Urmston: 2363

Stockport: 2267

Cheadle: 2226

Wythenshawe and Sale East: 1974

Hazel Grove: 1698

Bury South: 1665

Bury North: 1300

Worsley and Eccles South: 1297

Stalybridge and Hyde: 1176

Blakcley and Broughton: 1135

Bolton West: 1125

Denton and Reddish: 1104

Wigan 1003

Oldham East and Saddleworth: 968

Heywood and Middleton: 948

Leigh: 937

Ashton under Lyne: 890

Bolton North East: 873

Makerfield: 782

Rochdale: 742

Celebrities and MPs have tweeted their support for Parliament to revoke the Treaty of Lisbon clause that deals with leaving the EU.

Famous figures including actors Hugh Grant and Jennifer Saunders, TV presenter and author Caitlin Moran, physicist Brian Cox and former Labour press chief Alastair Campbell all urged their followers on social media to sign the petition.

Alongside the link, Grant wrote: “I’ve signed. And it looks like every sane person in the country is signing too. National emergency.”

Although the petition has little formal power, it may grab the attention of MPs.

Alan Wager, research associate at thinktank The UK in a Changing Europe, said: “What these results show is there is that voters remain unimpressed with the Brexit process so far.

“Where the petition has been signed, and the fact that places that voted Remain are most strongly represented, is no great shock.

“Equally, its value is in grabbing the attention of MPs and Westminster – the petition means they have to debate it, but doesn’t compel Mrs May to take any action, no matter how many people sign it.

“But the fact revocation remains the only step that the UK can itself make unilaterally and independently – if the government’s deal and no deal are ruled out – means that revocation could soon be entering the mainstream of British politics.

“As a result, this petition could be an important political symbol.

“The fact many of the constituencies that have a disproportionate number of signatures are bellwether electoral seats should give both Labour and the Conservatives pause for thought.”

Mrs May made the case for a June 30 extension in a 90-minute presentation to leaders of the other 27 member-states in Brussels, before leaving them to discuss their response in their absence.

A draft of the summit communique shows that the leaders are considering a postponement to May 22 – the day before the European elections begin.

“Given that the UK does not intend to hold elections to the European Parliament, no extension is possible beyond that date,” said the draft.

The document also suggested the EU will formally adopt two documents agreed by Mrs May with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker in Strasbourg last week, with the intention of reassuring MPs that the controversial backstop will not be permanent.

As she arrived in Brussels for what was slated to be the UK’s final EU summit as a member of the bloc, the Prime Minister said she “sincerely hopes” Britain will be able to leave with a deal.

But several leaders warned that if MPs turn down her Withdrawal Agreement for a third time, the UK could be heading for a no-deal Brexit on March 29.

French president Emmanuel Macron said only a short “technical” extension was on offer and if MPs reject the agreement “it will guide everybody to a no-deal for sure”.

Describing the UK as being in “political crisis”, Mr Macron said: “There needs to be a profound political change if there is to be an extension which is anything other than technical.”

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