Are you committing a crime if you sign a Parliamentary Petition in a false name?

Given the overwhelming evidence that Leave campaigners stretched funding rules beyond their legal limits, used covertly acquired Facebook data to target political advertising, and to put it bluntly cheated during the Referendum campaign, there is little surprise in the fact that Leave supporters are now urging their followers to use underhand methods to undermine the legitimacy of the Parliamentary Petition to revoke Article 50.

A handsome but somewhat callow-looking youth called Steven Edginton, the digital strategist for “Leave means Leave,” for example, claims – no doubt correctly though one never knows with people who consider their dishonesty virtuous – to have signed the petition three times in the names of Jean-Claude Junker, Donald Tusk and Michel Barnier.

Edgington: signed in various names

Julia Hartley-Brewer has encouraged others to do the same, using, like Mr Edgington multiple email addresses. The purpose, obviously, is to undermine the legitimacy of the petition, so that however many signatures it garners it can be written off as untrustworthy and irrelevant.

Online parliamentary petitions are rather curious things. They have no statutory authority. Although the Petitions Committee (a House of Commons, not a Government body) promises to “respond” to all petitions receiving at least 10,000 signatures, and to “consider for debate” any receiving over 100,000, there is no mechanism for enforcing a refusal to respond or to organise a debate on a petition, no matter how many people sign it. I suppose if you wanted to waste a great deal of money on a pointless legal case there might be a theoretical possibility of judicially reviewing the Committee if it refused, without any reason, even to consider organising a debate on a wildly popular petition, but good luck with that if you want to give it a try; apart from anything else I’d guess that its proceedings would be covered by Parliamentary privilege. The petitions have only the most rudimentary security to prevent multiple voting, or voting in false names. They possess no more legal clout than a twitter poll, which is to say the same legal force as the 2016 Referendum: none whatever. Politically, I suppose they have a persuasive force ranking slightly above a twitter poll, but several orders of magnitude below the Referendum.

Nevertheless, according to James Patrick, who was formerly a police officer, anyone encouraging people to sign the petition in false or multiple names, and particularly anyone doing so themselves, is guilty of a criminal offence under S.3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990. He advises those becoming aware of this behaviour to report it to the police.

It would be surprising if the police acted on any such complaint, except to tell the complainer to get a life and stop wasting police time with trivia, and indeed the West Midlands Police, at least, appear to have done just that (albeit in more polite language).

Thanks to the invaluable Threadreader App, here is Mr Patrick’s argument as he tweeted it:

Let’s talk about Section 3 of the super Computer Misuse Act of 1990, it’s the offence of messing with systems and systems data, and you can commit it just by being reckless.

If you do an unauthorised Act and know at the time you’re doing it’s unauthorised, you’re in trouble.

If you know is tested by evidence: so did you express knowledge it wasn’t authorised in a tweet, for example. Were there terms and conditions? Did you say you knew on TV, etc.

The next bit breaks down into two bits.
You can either be reckless as to whether your actions will complete the offence, or intend to do it.
The actions apply to any computer, program, or data. The actions are:

Impairing operation of a computer.
Preventing or hindering access to programs or data.
Impairing a program or the reliability of its data.
Enabling any of these three things.

So creating DDoS and false petition entries, for example, are obviously included.

Where the offence talks about actions it includes causing an act to be done and a series of acts.
Also, where it talks about impairing, preventing or hindering something, this includes temporarily.
So there’s no real escape from this offence.

Finally, it’s an either way offence. So it can be dealt with by magistrates (12 months in prison max) or by Crown Court trial (10 years in prison).

In the eyes of the law this offence is sufficiently serious to warrant a lengthy prison sentence.

With computer misuse having the capacity to affect every aspect of our economy, personal lives, and democracy, this is an important remedy to be aware of and a deterrent to all.

Hope you found this explainer useful. Have a good day.

I suggested to Mr Patrick that people following his advice and reporting people like Julia Hartley-Brewer to the police were more likely to be themselves arrested for wasting police time. His response was confident and unequivocal: “Utter horseshit.” He added that “a barrister should know better.” 

He described others who expressed disagreement with him on the interpretation of the Computer Misuse Act as “dicks,” “nuggets” and “buffons.” They had “no understanding of the law” and were talking “drivel.”  With his arrogance matched only by his bad manners it is perhaps just as well that Mr Patrick is no longer a police officer.

Anyway, let’s look, bit by bit, at S.3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 to see if signing the Petition multiple times, or in false names, is in fact an offence as Mr Patrick asserts.

3.  Unauthorised acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer, etc.

  1. A person is guilty of an offence if–

(a) he does any unauthorised act in relation to a computer;

(b) at the time when he does the act he knows that it is unauthorised; and

(c) either subsection (2) or subsection (3) below applies.

The first step is to see whether Ms Hartley-Brewer, or those following her advice, have done an “unauthorised act in relation to a computer.”

Unauthorised act” (which includes a “series of acts”) is helpfully, if only partially, defined in S.17 (8).

An act done in relation to a computer is unauthorised if the person doing the act (or causing it to be done)-

(a) is not himself a person who has responsibility for the computer …; and

(b) does not have consent to the act from any such person.

This helps to define “unauthorised,” not “act,” but there is clear authority that sending an email, for example, is an “act done in relation to a computer”: see DPP v. Lennon [2006] EWHC 1201.

Normally, sending emails to a computer is an authorised act: the fact of having a computer configured to receive emails would imply consent to the act of sending an email to it, even if it is unwanted. Nevertheless, there are circumstances, in which consent is not implied: the sending of an email containing malicious software, for example, or (as in Lennon) the sending of millions of emails with intent to overwhelm a server.

When you sign a Parliamentary Petition you do not send an email. You enter your name and an email address into a box on the Parliamentary Petitions website, which then automatically sends a link to the email address which you have supplied. Once the link is clicked, the electronic signature is registered. There is nothing to stop you using a different email address to sign a second time, or indeed as many times as you have access to different email accounts. Nor is there anything to stop you giving a false name.

There is no relevant conceptual difference between clicking a link which registers on a computer, and sending an email. If sending an email is an “act done in relation to a computer,” so is clicking a link.

However, whether giving a false name, or signing multiple times, is an “unauthorised” act is not so clear.

Keep in mind that an act is “unauthorised” if the person doing the act (in this case signing the petition in a false name, or multiple times) does not have the “consent” of the “person with responsibility for the computer.” Quite who that “person” is I’m not sure, but we can pass over that minor problem for now.

A rather striking aspect of the website is that it contains no terms or conditions, and no warning that you are allowed to sign the petition only once. It does ask you to give your name and address, and to confirm that you are a British citizen or a UK resident.

But that’s it. There is no explicit prohibition on signing a petition multiple times or in the name of Jacob Rees-Mogg or Boris Johnson. If signing multiple times is to be regarded as “unauthorised” then a lack of consent must be implied.  It is certainly not explicit.

We get a little more understanding about how the site works by looking at its privacy policy. Under the heading “Why we need your data” it explains:

We use this information to:

  • make sure that people only sign a petition once
  • check that you’re eligible to sign a petition

But this is a privacy policy, not a rule of the petition. It is simply a statement of how the committee will treat the data it receives. Nobody is directed towards it, or required to tick once of those annoying boxes that makes you confirm that you have read the privacy policy even when you haven’t.

I suppose it might be argued that you are expected to sign only once, but that seems a remarkably vague basis upon which to base criminal liability when the system allows you to sign using as many email addresses as you have the use of.

And what of false names? The site asks for your name, but there may be many entirely legitimate reasons for not wanting to give your real name. For example, you might not want your identity to be published because, although you privately support the aim of the Petition, you want to do so anonymously. You might be a child (there is no age restriction) who does not want your parents to know about your Remainiac tendencies. Or, you might simply wish – as Ms Hartley-Brewer wishes – to make the whole Petition as unreliable as possible. As it’s a document with no legal force anyway, it would be odd if legal consequences flowed from not taking it as seriously as others think you should. It would be bizarre if signing it insincerely should expose you to a criminal prosecution.

If the website was deliberately bombarded with automatically generated fake signatures designed to cause it to crash that would be a different matter. No-one consents to their website being rendered unserviceable. Such a “denial of service” attack would be an unauthorised act, see Lennon above (a case in which a “mail bombing” program was used to send approximately 5 million emails with intent to “overwhelm” a company’s computer system).

But even if signing the petition in multiple false names could be considered a series of “unauthorised acts,” it still does not follow that it is criminal. To become a crime, it must be done with the requisite “mental element.” This is set out in subsections (2) and (3):

(2) This subsection applies if the person intends by doing the act–

(a) to impair the operation of any computer;

(b) to prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in any computer;

(c) to impair the operation of any such program or the reliability of any such data; or

(d) …

Subsection (3) provides that recklessness as to whether the act will do any of the things in subsection (2) paragraphs (a) to (c) will also suffice.

Although the Petitions website apparently crashed at the weekend under the weight of people signing the petition, there is no suggestion that Ms Hartley-Brewer or the callow youth on Channel 4 intended that to happen. On the contrary, their intention was to demonstrate that the apparently large numbers of people signing the petition were not to be taken at face value because it could so easily be manipulated, a perfectly reasonable point to make, if, perhaps, a rather childish way of making it. There is no evidence of any intent to “impair the operation of any computer” or indeed to “to prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in any computer.”

But if S.3 (2) (a) and (b) are not made out, what about (c)? Was there an intent“to impair … the reliability of data [held in the computer]?” Or if not an intent to do so, then recklessness that this would be the consequence?

The effect – and the intent – of signing with false names, or from multiple email addresses is that the numbers apparently signing the petition cannot be relied upon. Surely then that is an intent “to impair … the reliability of the data” held on whatever computer hosts the Petitions website?

Mr Patrick thinks so, and in a later tweet he referred to the Crown Prosecution Service legal guidance to make his point. As the CPS puts it:

If a computer is caused to record information which shows that it came from one person, when it in fact came from someone else, that manifestly affects its reliability and thus the reliability of the data in the computer is impaired within the meaning of Section 3(2)(c).”

The quotation used by the CPS comes from the judgment of Lord Woolf CJ in Zezev v. Governor of Brixton Prison [2002] EWHC Admin 589.

Unfortunately both the CPS and Mr Patrick appear to have taken a single sentence from Zezev and given it a weight which it is quite incapable of bearing. To explain why I am afraid we need to look at Zezev in a little detail.

The case involved a request for extradition by United States Government, which wanted to try Mr Zezev (and an accomplice) on charges of blackmail and conspiracy to modify a computer belonging to Bloombergs, the multinational news and financial information company. They had “gained unauthorised access to functions on the Bloomberg computer system,” and then blackmailed Bloombergs by threatening to reveal that their system was compromised. One of the principles of extradition law is that a person cannot be extradited unless the conduct alleged is a crime in both the requesting state (here the USA), and the state to which the request is made (the UK). Blackmail obviously satisfied this test, but it was argued on behalf of Mr Zezev that the evidence did not support the allegation that he had conspired to commit any computer crime under English law.

The CPS, on behalf of the United States, argued that he was guilty of conspiring to commit an offence under S.3 of the Computer Misuse Act, and the Court agreed. Unfortunately the judgment does not explain with much clarity exactly what it was that Zezev was meant to have done (I’m sure this was not because the judges themselves didn’t understand it) but it obviously went far beyond simply sending an email. Lord Woolf explained it like this:

There was evidence against the applicant Zezev that he would use the computer so as to record the arrival of information which did not come from the purported source. In other words, the information would tell a lie about itself, namely that it had come from person A, when in fact it had come from person B.”

The crucial point is that Zezev himself used the computer he was accused of “misusing”; he had access to it, and somehow caused it to record incoming information incorrectly. Taken out of context the sentence on the CPS website makes it appear that Lord Woolf was laying down a general rule that sending an email containing incorrect information, or in a false name, can be considered an offence under the Computer Misuse Act. He was doing nothing of the sort.

So there it is. Whether or not you approve of Ms Hartley-Brewer’s actions, and whether or not you want Article 50 revoked (as I do, and I have signed the Petition, just the once and in my own name), you commit no crime by signing it multiple times, and you commit no crime by signing it in a false name either.

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Author: Matthew

I have been a barrister for over 25 years, specialising in crime. You may also have come across some of my articles I have written on legal issues for The Times, Standpoint, Daily Telegraph or Criminal Law & Justice Weekly

17 thoughts on “Are you committing a crime if you sign a Parliamentary Petition in a false name?”

  1. “However, whether giving a false name, or signing multiple times, is an “unauthorised” act is not so clear.”

    If I were Trumpole or somebody like that, I’d argue that it’s quite clear. If you supply a dispensable email address with the intention of making data unreliable (which is the stated intent), then the very act of doing it multiple times indicates that you wish your actions to be literally “unauthorised”.

    In giving and verifying (as in ‘veritas’ – is that not warning enough?) multiple signatures you have two objectives:
    (1) To make certain (supposedly important) data unreliable, to do which you have to deliberately give at least one false identity, and
    (2) To deliberately falsify your identity at least once for no other reason than to make the data unreliable.

    If that ain’t a crime at least on the scale of graffiti I don’t know what is, your grace.

    1. Well putting BS names on petitions is a tradition going back to the Chartists, and could be argued as legitimate political expression under Article 10 of the ECHR

      Secondly you can’t make a self-selected sample unreliable it intrinsically is:

      Thirdly the closest thing to an CMA offence here would appear to be genuine signatories who turned up to sign in such numbers that it was a virtual Denial of SService attack…..

  2. Reading some of James’ other tweets quickly shows me that he is extremely passionate about remaining. We have leavers like him too, and the remainers consistently point those people out as typical of all leavers. Good job the leavers aren’t pointing out people like James. Otherwise their pr machine would be struggling.

  3. It is rather unfortunate especially in the current climate that there is no specific statutory role – including penalties for misuse attached to the Parliamentary Petitions website

  4. I think you have misread or not understood the Zezev case. Those who knowingly put false information into a website are “using” the computer that hosts the website – and making the data unreliable.

    (I see you reference the Lennon case – I was the defence expert who suggested that sending an email to an email server was not an “unauthorised” act. This view was accepted at first instance though I was not wholly surprised when in the circumstances on appeal Lennon was found guilty)

    1. Yes, it’s not the computer the petition-signer is using which is relevant – the petition-signer might not be authorised to use it in this way but there is no way to tell – but quite certainly the multiple-signatures of a formal petition is interfering with the proper operation of the computer which hosts the petition data. The purpose of the serial-signer of the petition is clearly an attempt to invalidate the data which is not a lawful purpose.

      Slightly different point: while incorporating in the online form a statement such as “I certify that I have the right to sign this petition” might make things a little clearer, I don’t think anyone would try seriously to argue that signing a petition a second or third time is a legitimate exercise of the ‘right’ to sign the petition. Nevertheless each signatory of the petition clearly knows he/she is certifying that he/she has the right to sign the petition – otherwise, why do they have to check the box? – and on the second or any subsequent occasion that any individual clicks ‘that right has clearly already been exercised and therefore no longer subsists.

      Still another point: clearly a person who does not exist cannot assert “I am a British citizen or UK resident”. Therefore anyone not signing in his or her own name is making a false declaration when ticking that box. There might be some small possibility that someone with a professional and a personal name (Reg Dwight/Elton John) could sign the petition twice and not be caught out by this point, although arguably Reg and Elton cannot both claim to be British citizens.

  5. The e-petitions administrators have already explained how they limit the fraud (which is attempted on nearly every petition that gets well over 100,000 signatures).
    They have fairly efficient ways of barring anything other than the odd 2 or 3 double up votes – where people use a different email but they come from the same IP address.
    Google, Yahoo, Hotmail – the lot – all supply the government with verification that email addresses are genuinely held by British citizens and have not been created within the last 2 weeks ( try using a brand new email address with no verification to buy major items and you will experience the security checks of those firms for sure.) –
    They have detailed how they have deleted many of the fake account and Vatican City registered votes – getting an accuracy level somewhere over 95% they feel confident…

    As for this particular petition
    – it was not drawn up to get parliament to debate it…

    Rather it was overtly said that it was for this purpose:
    “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.”

    the petitioner, Margaret Anne Georgiadou, knew full well that this would have no influence via the debate-prompting official purpose – it was absolutely designed to be a publicity device.
    and has proved extremely effective from her perspective.

    1. Patrick:
      Perhaps Margaret Anne could follow up with a petition on Trump not being the “Peoples” President of the United States?!
      Isn’t it strange how the same kind of “people” who insist that the UK’s 5 “state” constituency (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar) Referendum, which was actually officially a whole of the UK plus Gibraltar “Popular Vote”, was invalid because the 3 (non participating/non existent) “constituencies” of little Scotland, tiny Northern Ireland  and micro-miniscule Gibraltar, “beat” little Wales and ginormous (and full of Scots and Northern – and Southern – Irish voters) England.
      Are the same people who insist that despite overwhelmingly conclusively winning (check out not just the State stats but the County counts!) the individual State “constituency” based US Presidential Election that was actually held (and campaigned on that basis) Trump lost a “Popular Vote” that was not held, and wasn’t even campaigned for.
      And fail to understand that if it was actually held as a Popular Vote election the campaigning would be very different, and the turnout would be very different.

      And even if Trump would have lost a US Presidential Election campaigned for and held on an actual “Popular Vote” basis the whole point of their laws on the matter is to prevent someone gaining power on the back of a few highly densely populated monocultural counties in a couple of very high population States, and thus allow those two States, in fact those few Counties) to literally dictate Federal policy to the other 48 States!
      But then such people always seem to prefer a very “liberal” interpretation of everything, especially facts!
      I think it’s supposed to be the “progressive” post-modern “there is no such thing as truth” approach, soooo 21st Century.
      Despite it being Stalin and the Stasi’s approach to things over half a century ago.
      Like the law!

  6. If we had another referendum, the £9 million on leaflets to every home will be advising us to leave the EU this time, rather than remain, as they did last time.

  7. If we had another referendum, the £9 million on leaflets to every home will be advising us to leave the EU this time, rather than remain, as they did last time.

    Over 25 million people voted for the two major parties who supported Brexit in the last general election.

    Conservatives Votes – 13,667,213 Labour Votes – 12,874,985.

    Only a small minority voted for an anti Brexit Party, the Lib Dems Votes – 2,371,772

  8. Petitions are not valid, as we do not know if those signing are eligible to vote, or if they are under 18 and therefore not able to vote.

  9. Mr Patrick seems like the normal police officer I have met over the years, arrogant, belligerent, ill mannered and it has to be said a complete twat. Of course its OK, because he’s a remain voter, but just imagine the reaction of the leftards if he was a leave voter agreeing with Hartley-Brewer. The Twatttershpere would be apoplectic.

    I voted to remain, not because I like the EU, because I don’t, but I did foresee this situation. However Matthew I do support democracy and the vote was to leave, and lets be honest Matthew the leave campaign were smarter and more well organised. You can cry into your beer all day long and say they spent more money, but for goodness sake did you not ever read the BBC website for example ? It was constant remain propaganda everyday, as it was during the US elections with constant hysteria over the Trump campaign and were openly supportive of Clinton. So much for their charter eh ? But lets be clear national organisations reaching millions of people were very pro-remain. What about the use of public money (license fee) to support their cause – fraud ?

    So now we have the great, the good, the worthy and the ever present Hampstead chatterati saying we should revoke article 50. It would be a very sad and potentially dangerous to our society if a democratic vote was overturned.

    As for the legal case, it seems Mr Patrick is mistaken and talking ‘horseshit’ to use his own delicate phrasing.

  10. A point about the history and ‘spirit’ of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (“CMA”).

    Before the CMA, police were trying to use existing legislation such as the Criminal Damage and theft acts to deal with the ever-growing threat of hacking and viruses.

    New legislation was needed to combat the electronic equivalent of breaking locks, smashing down doors, criminal trespass, theft, graffiti etc.

    The CMA was not intended to deal with the simple honesty of the content of an otherwise benign communication or message.

    So, I agree with Matthew in that signing an online petition in a false name is not in itself a criminal offence under the CMA and was never intended to be so.

    Nowadays, police themselves set up false accounts on social media for operational requirements – completely contrary to the clear and detailed terms and conditions of use of such sites.

  11. Surely ‘the reliability of data’ doesn’t mean that we are all compelled to always tell the truth to any computerised system?

    The data stored by a program is merely the data that the program stored, whatever that may be, and it could be an offence to sabotage the program’s data, or to interfere with the program’s reliance on its data. In this instance that data could be a record of what details have been entered, which have verified etc.

    Is it even arguable that to use a pseudonym, despite a ‘real name policy’ in a site’s conditions is criminal ? There is an obvious HRA follow-up question if you say yes.

  12. “Given the overwhelming evidence that Leave campaigners stretched funding rules beyond their legal limits,”
    – And yet they STILL managed to only spend half as much as Remain
    – And then there’s the £9MILLION the Government added ON TOP, wasn’t it, to the Remain propaganda spend
    – And nearly all of Parliament adding to that with free publicity for the Remain cause
    – And the decades of free BBC Remain propaganda, Channel 4, Sky, even ITV (and while there might have been several Leave newspapers apparently 64% of the public get their news from some arm of the BBC – TV, radio, internet, magazines – and no doubt their views from BBC “liberal” soaps, dramas, quizzes, “comedy” shows and even “documentaries”!)
    – And all the Civil Servants and Government info the Remainer Ministers were allowed to use
    – And all the big hitter companies and their directors wanting to keep the government sweet to keep or gain Government contracts
    – And Obama and the Irish and Australians and EU politicians…..
    – And despite all that REMAIN still managed to break the expenditure limits and laws too!

    – Despite the Electoral Commission being stuffed with Remainers
    – How come the media aren’t trumpeting any of THAT from the rooftops?
    “used covertly acquired Facebook data to target political advertising,”
    – And Remain never did that?!
    – Remain never even copied, never mind had help with, all the social media data mining and exploitation that Obama’s team developed?! No help whatsoever, not even for free, not even from Twitter, Facebook, or Google, not even shadowbanning, censoring and silencing the ExtremeHardFarRightWingXenophobicRacistBigotLyingFascistNaziLittleEnglanderNeanderthalBrexitGammonThugs?!
    “and to put it bluntly cheated during the Referendum campaign,”
    – Cheated?
    – You don’t mean lying about the £350 M pw on the bus?!
    – Yes, the Remainers and the media never made clear that that was all lies, did they?!
    – The £350 M was an out of date figure

    – It was actually £360 odd M pw at the time
    – It was only the basic direct membership fee
    – The out of date total for all fees, subscriptions, contributions, support, enforced “loans”, etc, etc was more like £980 M a week
    – On top of that you have to ADD the EU “grants” for EU preferred projects which the UK has to match-fund (so whatever the EU spends on its projects – out of what’s left of OUR taxes – in the UK WE have to add the same amount to it with EVEN MORE of our taxes!!!
    – Oh, and the “rebate” is paid a year in arrears, and is based on the EU’s formula on its assessment of our relevant GDP
    – So we actually pay the full £BILLION PLUS per week and get a tiny fraction back as a rebate the next year (but, yes, we can offset the previous year’s rebate against this year’s “membership” payments, so we might pay a bit less than a BILLION per week!)
    – Or perhaps you mean the lies about the 60% odd of our laws that “come from” Brussels
    – Surely as a lawyer you know that the Leave and Remain figures came from exactly the same source – the House of Commons Library – and the Leavers figure was the real total of EU laws passed in Brussels and the laws passed in Westminster as directed to by Brussels, while the Remainers only quoted the laws actually passed in Brussels that automatically applied in the UK!
    – And if you look into it you’ll find everything else Remain said was the lie.
    – Apart from perhaps the emergency budget immediately on the announcement of a Leave result, the collapse of the economy as soon as it would be known, World War Three resulting, etc, etc

    – Oh, wait, those were lies too!
    – We had things like the continual harping on about ONE financial services company merely THREATENING to leave if we voted Leave (even though the EU was in the process of scrapping the Financial Passport and allowing companies from all countries with similar levels of financial supervision as the UK, ermm, sorry, the EU, to trade in the EU)
    – While at least half a dozen major international companies made announcements of major investment in their UK operations, or even of moving to the UK (Boeing’s European HQ, Avon’s World HQ) which were NEVER EVEN MENTIONED in the national press!
    – Or were you thinking of some other cheating?!
    – Like insisting that UK citizens would not be able to get emergency health-care, visas, flights, etc, etc, to the EU (while EU citizens would be able to do or get all that in or to the UK?! Or would they also suffer – incidentally continuing reciprocal emergency health care is being organised as we speak)
    – Or perhaps the “fact” that we would no longer benefit from student exchanges or EU research grants, as confirmed by genius boffin academics (despite nearly everywhere from Russia to Australia being in the Erasmus scheme, and, like grants to relocate factories, you don’t have to be in the EU to benefit from EU research grants!)?!
    – Maybe you mean the way that Leave threatened that we wouldn’t be able to fly to or over the EU? Oh, wait, that was Remain! Except that EU planes that want to fly to the US have to use our airspace so we could ground them in return. Not that we should or would. Apparently if the EU tried to stop our flights the international body that’s really in charge would automatically invalidate all EU pilots licenses and airworthiness certificates and so immediately ground all EU planes, something else Remain accidentally forgot to mention!!!
    – Getting the picture yet? Every accusation about Leave lying was a lie
    – While you could tell when Remainers were lying – their mouths were open!!!
    “there is little surprise in the fact that Leave supporters are now urging their followers to use underhand methods to undermine the legitimacy of the Parliamentary Petition to revoke Article 50.”
    – Would that be like daring to cheat and steal the precedents Gina Miller had set?!
    “A handsome but somewhat callow-looking youth called Steven Edginton, the digital strategist for “Leave means Leave,” for example, claims – no doubt correctly though one never knows with people who consider their dishonesty virtuous – to have signed the petition three times in the names of Jean-Claude Junker, Donald Tusk and Michel Barnier.”
    – You mean the guy who demonstrated how easy it was for all the people supporting the petition to sign up from everywhere from the Vatican City to North Korea via Antarctica?!

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