The petition began doing the rounds on social media after being shared by millionaire toff Mr Grant, 58, though names have been added from other nations such as Afghanistan and North Korea. Posting from his Twitter account, which has the handle @HackedOffHugh, the actor said: “I’ve signed. And it looks like every sane person in the country is signing too. National emergency. Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU.” Among a wave of angry responses from Brexiteers was one from outspoken Good Morning Britain Host Piers Morgan, who said: “Hugh Grant calls 17.4 million Britons insane.
Because sneering liberal celebrities abusing people they don’t agree with has been SUCH a successful political strategy on both sides of the Atlantic!”
Others promoting the petition to revoke Article 50 permanently include Annie Lennox and stargazer Brian Cox, who took to Facebook to share his reasons for signing.
He said: “I’ve signed this petition to revoke A50 and deal with the consequences afterwards – referendum, election, whatever.
“I have no idea whether these things do any good but after May’s astonishingly irresponsible speech this evening I’ll give anything a go.”
The petition, entitled Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU, received a surge of support in the wake of Mrs May’s speech last night, in which she blasted MPs in a direct message to the British people.
The petition 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.”
A map of the petition shows areas where it has surged being London, Edinburgh and Oxford.
Others who have signed it are comedian’s David Mitchell and Stephen Mangan.
Earlier today, Commons leader and staunch Brexiteer Andrea Leadsom dismissed the petition entirely.
She said: “Should it reach 17.4 million respondents then I am sure there will be a very clear case for taking action.”