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26 May, 2016

Supreme Court denies expats Brexit vote

Ampersand’s Aidan O’Neill QC appeared in UKSC for British expats who were seeking the right to vote in the forthcoming EU referendum.

Over a million British expats have been denied the right to vote in the EU referendum following a ruling that people who have lived outside of the UK for more than 15 years cannot vote.

Those campaigning for the right to vote argued that the 15-year rule contained in section 2 of the EU Referendum Act 2015 was a restriction on their freedom of movement and was an unjustifiable infringement on their common law right to vote.

But Lady Hale, Lord Mance, Lord Reed, Lord Sumption and Lord Hughes unanimously ruled against allowing the vote.

Lady Hale said: “We do have considerable sympathy for the situation in which the applicants find themselves. We understand that this is something that concerns them deeply, but we cannot discern a legal basis for challenging this statute.”

You can view a video of the oral argument before the court here: https://www.supremecourt.uk/watch/uksc-2016-0105/240516-am.html

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