Over one million has allegedly signed the petition following the sudden closure of parliaments by Prime minister Boris Johnson which opposition sees as the MPs’ “only opportunity” to challenge a no-deal Brexit, ex-minister David Gauke has said.
This follows the prime minister’s decision to suspend Parliament in September and October.
A statement from opposition parties accused the PM of shutting down Parliament with “the sole aim” of stopping MPs from preventing a no deal. Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg said outrage at the plan was “phoney”.
The government said the five-week suspension – known as prorogation – in September and October will still allow time to debate Brexit.
But government whip Lord Young has resigned in protest, arguing the move risks “undermining the fundamental role of Parliament”.
And a Scottish court hearing is under way which could block the suspension of Parliament.
Former justice secretary David Gauke told the BBC the public did not want a no-deal Brexit, but that the options of those opposed to such an exit have “now narrowed”. “That would suggest we need to move sooner rather than later,” he said.
And shadow chancellor John McDonnell said he believed that Parliament would be able to find a way to stop a no-deal Brexit but that nobody should “underestimate” how difficult it would be.
A video has emerged of Defence Secretary Ben Wallace discussing the PM’s decision to suspend Parliament with the French defence minister Florence Parly.
He can be heard saying that Parliament had been “very good at saying what it doesn’t want, but… awful at saying what it wants”.
What might happen next?
Despite having little time, MPs still have options for trying to block a no-deal Brexit.
They could try to take control of the parliamentary timetable in order to pass legislation which would force the PM to request an extension to the Brexit deadline.
Another option would be to remove the current government through a vote of no confidence.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said opposition MPs would take the first steps towards trying to pass a law blocking a no-deal Brexit when Parliament returns on Tuesday.
Asked whether they still had the time to pass such legislation, he replied: “We believe we can do it, otherwise we wouldn’t be trying to do it.”
He said tabling a no-confidence motion in the PM at an “appropriate moment” also remained an option.
It is also thought some MPs are exploring ways of ensuring Parliament can meet on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday before the planned suspension.
Conservative peer Lord Young of Cookham said in his resignation letter that the timing and length of the suspension “risks undermining the fundamental role of Parliament at a critical time in our history”.
Meanwhile, Ruth Davidson has also confirmed she is quitting as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, citing personal and political reasons.
A snap YouGov poll conducted on Wednesday suggested 47% of British adults thought the decision was unacceptable, with 27% saying it was acceptable and 27% unsure.
But it suggested the suspension was supported by 51% of people who voted Leave, with 52% of Conservative voters also approving of the move.
Scotland’s top civil court is considering a challenge to the suspension of Parliament, led by the SNP’s justice spokeswoman, Joanna Cherry.
The judge will consider overnight whether to grant the Scottish legal equivalent of an injunction to stop it – pending a full hearing on 6 September – and is expected to return to court to give his decision at 10:00 BST on Friday.
It is not possible to mount a legal challenge to the Queen’s exercise of her personal prerogative powers.
Campaigner Gina Miller has made an application to the Supreme Court, seeking permission for a judicial review of the PM’s decision.