Petition to halt Brexit process set to top 4.5 million names

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An online petition demanding a halt to the crisis-ridden Brexit process is now within touching distance of four and a half million signatures.

This means it has beaten the previous record for most popular petition by exceeding the number of names on a 2016 petition which called for a second EU referendum.

That is also the key demand of today’s historic march in London urging a revocation of Article 50 (ending the current Brexit process), which organisers say could have attracted up to one million people.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told the crowd Prime Minister Theresa May is in thrall to her own party’s hard liners, and that she has pitched Parliament against people.

EU leaders have agreed to extend the Brexit deadline to May 22 if Mrs May can persuade MPs to back a third bid to have her deal passed.

However amid speculation that she cannot remain much longer in office it is currently unclear, given two previous resounding defeats, whether she will make the attempt.

This will leave MPs with the task of finding a way out of the deadlock by April 12, while the threat of Britain leaving the EU without a deal (a prospect which Parliament voted down) is still live.