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BREXIT

Cancel Brexit petition heads towards SIX MILLION signatures

A petition set up last week that calls for the British government to cancel Brexit and stay in the EU by revoking Article 50 had garnered almost six million signatures on Wednesday.

Cancel Brexit petition heads towards SIX MILLION signatures
Photo: AFP

The online petition was set up on the parliament site shortly after Theresa May addressed the British public in a TV appearance in which she blamed MPs for the Brexit chaos.

By the next day it had rocketed past the one million signature mark and has kept on rising.

By Wednesday morning, thousands of people were still signing up to show their disapproval of the Prime Minister and their desire to remain part of the EU.

The total was at 5.83 million by 10am and was expected to pass the six million mark on Wednesday or Thursday.

According to officials at the House of Commons the petition had the highest rate of sign ups ever.

The petition was shared widely on British Facebook groups across the EU and thousands have signed from France, Germany and Spain.

The petition titled: 'Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU' reads: “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.”

While the Conservative government has said it will not be cancelling Brexit or revoking Article 50 in order to respect the result of the 2016 referendum, parliament will hold a debate on the issue on Monday.

“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,” said the official statement.

The petition was started by Margaret Georgiadou, who says she has received death threats as a result.

Detractors claim it is full of false signatures, however officials have said that fake ones are being removed unless they can be verified via email.

British PM Theresa May was still holding out that her deal with the EU would get the backing of the British parliament in a third vote, but MPs were also set to cast votes on Wednesday on various other options.

Britain is set to leave the EU on April 12th unless May's deal is passed or the government can come up with a plan B to convince Brussels to accept a longer delay.

You can sign the petition here.

 

Member comments

  1. How many voted Leave? Oh, that’s right – 17,410,742.

    Yawn.

    Let’s not be Europeans – let’s respect a democratic vote. Brexit ASAP!!!

  2. If their servers were able to handle the traffic, there would likely be more than double, triple what we have now.

  3. The vote in 2016 was tainted by false information and in was margina. So I happily sign the petition. But somequestions: email checks. Can a husband and wife count as two on the same email address? Can people without email sign the petition if so how?

  4. Cut off in midstream. We must get to 8.5 million half the leave vote. Get to 10 million next.Then get past 17 million. It is possible ! Contact all your friends and encourage them to vote.Don’t let the cheats have their way.

  5. The true “undermining of democracy” was the lies, deceit and sheer BS that was used to get peple to vote ‘Leave’ in the referendum, and most of that from right-wing politicians!
    Now only the despots and desperate Brexiters repeat the ‘will-o-the-people’ mantra without any hint of reality on how this will adversely affect millions of people, now and in the future, not to mention the UK economy.

  6. “Lies and deceit”, right. And Hillary Clinton lost because Donald Trump colluded with Russia.

    Democracy means there are losers – that’s what Remainers are. Accept it, or just admit you are anti-democratic.

  7. WTH does Tr–p have to do with this? You MUST be desperate, Mrs. May.
    Your continued insults aimed at “Remainers” really helps your cause.

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For members

VISAS

‘Be ready to wait’: Your tips for getting a French visa post-Brexit

Now that Britain is out of the EU, just how much harder is the process of moving to France from the UK after Brexit? British readers share their experiences of applying for visas as 'third country nationals’.

'Be ready to wait': Your tips for getting a French visa post-Brexit

Whether you’re moving to France to live, or you’re a second-home owner wanting to spend more than 90 days out of every 180 in France, if you’re British you will now need a visa.

You can find more on how to apply for a visa, and how to understand what type of visa you need, in our visa section HERE.

But how these systems work in practice is not always the same as the theory.

To learn more about the process of getting a visa as a UK national, The Local asked British readers for their experiences of going through the system.

The consensus among respondents was that the whole thing was bureaucratic, though there were notable differences in experiences that ranged from the “easy” to the “complicated” and “time-consuming”, while the advice for future applicants was, routinely, have all your paperwork ready – and be prepared for a lengthy wait at one of the UK’s TLS centres

Appointments

Like most visas, French visas for UK nationals must be applied for before you leave home. You can find a full explanation of the process here, but the basic outline is that you apply for the visa online, and then have an in-person appointment in the UK in order to present your paperwork. 

Sue Clarke told us: “As long as you get all your paperwork together correctly and in the right order, the time it takes to receive your passport back with the visa in it once TLS has sent it off is only a few days.

“TLS – the centre which works on behalf of the French Embassy to collate your application – is so very busy,” she added. “That part of the process took hours even when you have an appointment.”

READ ALSO EXPLAINED: What type of French visa do you need?

“The visa process itself was fairly well run, and a decision for the initial visa was quick,” wrote Ian Sheppard, who successfully applied for a visa in July 2022. 

“Although getting the follow up residence permit was a pain, [and] took longer than expected, and there was little to no communication with severely limited ways to get in touch about the application.”

Sheppard thought that, biometrics apart, the process could have taken place online, and wondered whether the follow-up residence permit application could be more closely linked to the initial visa application, “rather than effectively submitting the same application twice”.

Georgina Ann Jolliffe described the process as “stressful”. 

“A lot of the initial stage was unclear and I needed a lot of reassurance about the visa trumping the Schengen 90 days. (The Local helped on that one),” she wrote. 

“[The] lack of ready communication was very stressful. It could be slicker, however staff at Manchester TLS were excellent.”

Jacqueline Maudslay, meanwhile, described the process as “complicated”, saying: “The waiting times for the appointment with the handling agent (TLS in the UK) are long and difficult to book online. We applied for a long-stay visa and were given a short-stay visa, with no reasoning and no option of talking to anyone.  

“We had met every criteria for the long-stay visa. There needs to be a contact link with the French Consular website directly for discussing visa applications.”

Handling agent TLS’s website – the first port of call for applicants from the UK – was a target for criticism.

“The TLS system is probably the most user unfriendly system I have ever used,” wrote Susan Kirby. “It throws up errors for no legitimate reason and even changes data you have keyed in. Dates are in American format so you have to be very careful and it can be very difficult to edit.”

Bea Addison, who applied for a visa in September 2021 with a view to retiring in France, agreed that it was complicated and believes the French system is chaotic and badly organised compared to other countries. “Even staff in the French Embassy in London were not knowledgeable of the process and documentation,” she wrote.

“The renewal in France was applied for in July 2022 … we have received an attestation that we will be granted renewal visas, which expired in October 2022, but we have not yet received a date to attend the préfecture due to a backlog.

Second-home owners

Many of our survey respondents were not moving to France, but were instead second-home owners who did not want to be constrained by the 90-day rule.

They have the option of remaining residents of the UK and applying for a short-stay French visitor visa – which must be renewed every year.

Second-home owner Peter Green told us: “Our appointment with TLS was delayed by two and a half hours and the whole experience was chaotic.

“We now have to go through exactly the same process again to get a visa for 2023. With second-home owners there should be a fast track that just involves proving financial viability, nothing else has changed. The system needs to be fully computerised.”

Second-home owner Alan Cranston told us his application met with no problems, but came with “unwanted cost and effort”. 

“Our six-month visa was for our first stint at our house in France in the spring, and that then overlapped our second visit in the autumn which was under Schengen. How that is handled seems to be a muddle (we did not leave the country for a day at the end of the six months, as some advise),” he said. 

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