UK Parliament petitions website

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The UK Parliament petitions website (E-Petitions) went live in November 2006,[1] and relaunched in July 2015,[2] to allow members of the public to petition the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Although the UK Parliament's Petitions Committee considers all petitions which receive 100,000 signatures or more, there is no automatic parliamentary debate of those that pass this threshold.[3]

In its first year, a total of 36,000 petitions were submitted, attracting 6.4 million signatures.[4]

As of June 2016 the most successful petition, with over four million signatories, was one to require referendums to have a supermajority;[5] this had been started in May 2016 before the Brexit referendum, by a supporter of Brexit.[6]

A petition in December 2015 sought to ban Donald Trump from entering the UK; this gained more than 550,000 signatories and caused the website to crash.[7][8][9]

In March 2016, a petition calling for provision of meningitis B vaccine to all children in the UK received over 800,000 signatures, and the issue was subsequently debated in Parliament.[10]

A petition launched in January 2017 called for Trump to be banned from an official state visit to the UK following his election as U.S. President, and has so far received over 1.8 million signatures.[11]

Effectiveness[edit]

Emma Howard of The Guardian newspaper questioned the value of the website in 2014, claiming that it creates false expectations.[12] Of the ten campaigns that garnered most signatures in 2016, four were denied a debate and none has so far succeeded in obtaining its intended outcome or implementing real change.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Connor, Gary (30 October 2015). "Are e-petitions a waste of time?". BBC Website. BBC. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  2. ^ "New House of Commons and Government petitions website launched - News from Parliament". Parliament of the United Kingdom.
  3. ^ "Find out more about e-petitions". www.parliament.uk. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 29 January 2017.
  4. ^ https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-19266497
  5. ^ "Petition for second EU referendum reaches 4 million as hundreds attend anti-Brexit protest in London". Daily Telegraph. 29 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Petition calling for second EU referendum was created by a Leave voter – and he's not happy that it's been 'hijacked' by Remain". Daily Telegraph. 27 June 2016.
  7. ^ "The Ban Donald Trump petition crashed because so many people wanted to sign it". The Independent. 9 December 2015.
  8. ^ "Trump UK ban petition passes 370,000 signatures". BBC News.
  9. ^ "UK Petition To Ban Donald Trump Breaks Record". Sky News.
  10. ^ "Meningitis B vaccine petition gets date in parliament after record 800,000 signatures". Liverpool Echo. 4 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Public figures call for biggest ever UK protest to oppose Trump visit". The Guardian. 1 February 2017.
  12. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/24/e-petitions-often-worse-than-useless
  13. ^ http://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/2017/01/do-online-petitions-actually-work-numbers-reveal-truth

External links[edit]