Expats Mount Fresh Referendum Challenge
British expats in Spain, France, and Italy are behind a legal challenge submitted to the High Court in London calling on the result of the 2016 referendum to be invalidated.
Those behind the legal action argue that the outcome should not stand as it has now been proven that the Leave campaign broke the Electoral Commission's rules on campaign spending.
The "UK in EU Challenge" group states its belief that two major campaign groups -- BeLeave and Vote Leave – conducted their campaigns unlawfully, preventing the possibility of a free and fair vote.
The government has dismissed the legal action, saying that similar attempts have already failed. However, Croft Solicitors, which is representing the claimants, says that the fact the Electoral Commission only recently found BeLeave to have illegally failed to declare £675,000 gives the action fresh relevance; solicitors acting for the firm have already enjoyed success with an article 50 legal challenge at the Supreme Court.
"Our clients contend that the prime minister's decision to trigger article 50 and start the Brexit process was based on a factual error, namely that the referendum truly represented the will of the people following a lawful, free and fair vote," commented Rupert Croft, the managing director Croft Solicitors.
"They argue that the decision to trigger Article 50 to withdraw from the EU was therefore not in accordance with the UK's constitutional requirements. We look forward to having this important constitutional case considered by the court."
The claimants to the case believe that it is about much more than the future of their expat regular savings, their pensions or indeed even the fair process and outcome of the EU referendum; it is essentially about the integrity of democracy. "It is fundamental that illegal intervention in British elections does not go unchecked. The principle of nullity when a decision was made on incorrect or misleading facts is a longstanding one and we wish to ensure that continues to apply at this crucial time," said one British expat living in France who is party to the action.
Another of the claimants, a British expat living in Spain said they "hope to demonstrate that you cannot win by cheating. If there is another referendum, there must not be a repeat of the illegal activity witnessed last time around".
Croft Solicitors says that an estimated 1 to 2 million British nationals live, work or have other interests in the EU and stand to be "profoundly affected" by Brexit.
UK in EU Challenge is looking for help with its legal challenge. More information about contributing can be found on their website.
If you are concerned about how Brexit will affect your finances, your local Blacktower team of international financial advisers can help you understand your current rights and will be happy to discuss how you can best prepare before the EU split goes ahead.