ALMOST 9,000 Colchester residents have signed a petition calling for Brexit to be scrapped.

An online petition has been launched on the parliament petition website calling for Article 50 to be revoked and for the UK to stay in the European Union.

The petition has gone viral and has had more than 5 million signatures - petitions need 100,000 to qualify for a debate in Parliament.

It 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.”

A breakdown of the signatures shows 6,841 people in the Harwich and North Essex constituency agree and have signed, in Colchester it is 8,993 and in Clacton it is 2,455.

So far 5,463 Braintree residents have signed, in Witham it is 5,537 and in Maldon it’s 5,018.

South Suffolk, which includes Brantham and East Bergholt, has seen 7,720 signatures. Essex Euro MP Alex Mayer said the petition, according to the Petitions Committee has been growing at the fastest rate of signing ever.

It reportedly caused the Parliament’s petitions website to have crashed several times as a result of the number of people signing.

She said: “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.

“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.”

Article 50 is the two-year legal countdown to Brexit that was meant to end today, but after EU leaders granted an extension is now set to end on April 12.

The woman behind the petition has said she has had to close her Facebook page due to abuse and has even received death threats.

In a tweet Margaret Georgiadou said: “I have had three death threats over the phone, my Facebook account has been hacked and had a torrent of abuse on Facebook.”

A rival petition for Brexiteers is also on the Parliament petition website called Leave the EU without a deal in March 2019.

There are 541,827 signatures and it will will stay open until April 17.

Of those 1,138 are from residents in Harwich and North Essex, 1,245 from Clacton, 981 from Colchester, 1,183 from Braintree, 1,069 from Witham and 1,335 from Maldon.

It comes as MPs seized control of the House of Commons agenda to force votes on alternatives to Theresa May’s plan.

These included a call for a public vote on any deal and a demand for Parliament to choose between no-deal and no-Brexit if the UK gets within two days of crashing out.

Mrs May has also faced repeated calls to resign in exchange for MPs backing her deal this week.

Her Brexit deal was rejected by 230 votes in January and 149 in March.