British expatriates challenge legality of Brexit vote
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British expatriates challenge legality of Brexit vote

The UK in EU Challenge [advocacy website] group, an anti-Brexit organization consisting largely of British expatriates living in Spain, France and Italy, filed [text] a new legal challenge to Brexit Tuesday alleging that the referendum vote was not a fair vote and the results should therefore be invalidated.

The challenge states that, under European law, an EU nation may leave the Union but must do so “in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.” The challenge focuses in on the constitutional right to vote. Citing an opinion from the British Election Commission [official website], the challenge notes that, under British law, any election outcome which is the result of actions that violate British voting laws is invalid under the constitution. The document notes that one of these voting laws requires transparency in campaign financing.

In citing these provisions, the challenge aims to build off of the Electoral Commissions recent finding [press release] that Vote Leave [official website], one of the major campaigns advocating for the approval of a British exit from the EU, violated electoral financing law. The Commission found that Vote Leave and BeLeave, another campaign group, worked together in paying a data analysis group by the name of AggreateIQ [official website] a total of 675,000 pounds. According to the Commission, Vote Leave not only failed to declare the payment but also exceeded the 7 million pound cap on campaign spending by almost 500,000 pounds. The Commission also noted that Vote Leave failed to cooperate with their investigation into this matter. As a result of the investigation, Vote Leave was fined 61,000 pounds and reported to British law enforcement.

The government has responded [text] to the challenge by claiming that it is untimely. They cite the European Union Referendum Act of 2015 [materials] which states that legal challenges to the results of a referendum may only be brought 6 weeks after voting has concluded.