Expats’ Lawsuit to Vote in EU Referendum to Reach Supreme Court

Anti-Brexit expats fighting a lawsuit for their right to vote in the EU referendum have just launched an appeal in the Supreme Court after suffering a defeat in the Court of Appeal. Three appeal court judges upheld the Government’s rule that Britons living in other EU countries for more than 15 years are not eligible to vote on June 23. The rule is contained in Section 2 of the EU Referendum Act 2015.

Prior to the appeals court, the appeal was previously heard by the High Court which dismissed the expats’ claim that the rule was an unjustified restriction on their EU right to freedom of movement and infringed their common law right to vote. In their remarks, the judges stated that “the 2015 Act did not fall within the scope of EU law at all and the challenge falls at the first hurdle”. The lawsuit has been filed by 95-year-old London-born war veteran, Harry Shindler, and 54-year-old solicitor, Jacquelyn MacLennan.

In her remarks, Ms MacLennan stated that “I am disappointed with the Court of Appeal’s judgment,” adding that “I hope the Supreme Court will agree that the 15-year rule is wrong and unlawful in the context of the EU referendum.” She alleged that “Brexit would have a huge impact on my personal and professional life. Excluding two million citizens like me from voting – as the Government recognises – is unjust and unfair.” Whereas, Mr Shindler claims that “I am still waiting for the Government to tell us why British citizens in Europe can’t vote in this referendum.” He alleged that “the Government had agreed to scrap the 15-year rule before the Referendum Bill was passed, agreeing it was arbitrary and undemocratic.”

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