Expat pro-EU remain group considering appeal against High Court Brexit referendum case dismissal

Expat pro-EU remain group considering appeal against High Court Brexit referendum case dismissal

A COSTA BLANCA-based group of British expatriates campaigning to remain in the EU have said they are considering appealing against High Court ruling on the legality of the Brexit referendum.

Bremain in Spain, part of the UK in EU group, said it would appeal against the dismissal of their court appeal for judicial review after the judge called it “hopeless”.

Mr Justice Ouseley presided over the hearings which were launched after Britain’s Electoral Commission ruled the Vote Leave organisation had broken campaign spending laws.

Susan Wilson, lead claimant in the case and head of Bremain in Spain, said she was disappointed with the ruling.

“The government has aggressively countered our claims and has shown a blatant disregard for democratic values,” Wilson said.

Read full article in the Euro Weekly News

The Leave campaign broke the rules – there’s the justification for a Final Say, prime minister

The Leave campaign broke the rules – there’s the justification for a Final Say, prime minister

As the parliamentary debate on the withdrawal agreement progresses, the call for a people’s vote becomes increasingly irresistible. A case in the High Court (Wilson and others v the prime minister) offers another argument in its favour: the government has a constitutional duty to at least re-consider whether it should proceed with Brexit.

All public bodies are subject to a legal duty, whenever they make a decision, to take all relevant considerations into account. This duty applies at every level, from district councils through to the prime minister. Where a public body fails to take a relevant consideration into account, its decision can be set aside.

The conduct of the Leave campaigns during the 2016 referendum is just such a relevant consideration. The Electoral Commission has found that Vote Leave incorrectly reported its spending and, in fact, exceed its spending limit by nearly 10 per cent. Spending limits are put in place to ensure that no side can “buy” an election. When Vote Leave exceeded its spending limit it gave itself, and by extension the entire Leave campaign, a significant unfair advantage. The Electoral Commission also found that Darren Grimes, founder of BeLeave misreported donations from Vote Leave and the campaign group “Veterans for Britain” also broke electoral rules. Grimes has denied any wrongdoing and is appealing the fine.

 
Organisations associated with the Leave side have also been fined by the information commissioner. The commissioner found that Leave.EU and Eldon Insurance, a company owned by Arron Banks, misused data belonging to Eldon’s customers and illegally sent 300,000 emails.
 
Full article in The Independent
 
Brexit: High Court rejects challenge to annul referendum result in major blow to Remain campaigners

Brexit: High Court rejects challenge to annul referendum result in major blow to Remain campaigners

A High Court challenge seeking to annul the result of the Brexit referendum because of “corrupt and illegal practices” by the Vote Leave campaign has been dismissed.

Mr Justice Ouseley said he was refusing permission for a full hearing of the claim because of the long delay in bringing it forward and because of “the want of merit”.

The decision came as a bitter blow to campaigners, British expats living in Europe, who had crowdfunded the case, which was heard last Friday.

Called UK in EU Challenge, the case argued that breaches of campaign spending limits – punished by the independent Electoral Commission – meant the 2016 referendum was not a “free and fair vote”.

The campaigners had also based the case on what they saw as Ms May’s refusal to act on the growing evidence of illegality in the months since the Commission’s findings.

Vote Leave carried on spending, despite busting its limit two days before the June 2016 vote – and was later found by the Electoral Commission to have broken the law.

Read full article in The Independent

Bremain in Spain and other ‘Brexpats’ lament High Court setback

Bremain in Spain and other ‘Brexpats’ lament High Court setback

BRITISH expats living in Spain, Italy and France are deciding their next step after the UK High Court rejected their appeal against Brexit based upon ‘lies and corruption’ on the part of Leave campaigners.

Sue Wilson, co-founder of Bremain in Spain, along with Ellie Grayson and John Shaw, from France and Carole-Anne Richards from Italy are seeking for the result of the referendum on June 23, 2016 to be annulled due to illegal practices including overspending and misuse of statistics, for which the official Leave campaign has already been pulled up on.

The Office of National Statistics reportedly warned former foreign minister Boris Johnson over the ‘Leave bus’ claim strongly hinting that the £350 million per week the UK sends to the European Union would be used to fund the National Health Service (NHS), a statement which failed to mention that this is the gross figure, not taking into account rebates and grants.

Also, the Electoral Commission fined Vote Leave £61,000 and Leave.EU £70,000 (currently €67,239 and €77,162 respectively, based upon today’s rate of €1.10 to the £1 as quoted on Xe.com) for deliberately going beyond their spending limit.

Vote Leave broke its budget two days before the referendum, but continued to spend, which the Electoral Commission ruled illegal.

Full article in Think Spain

 

Brexit: Leave ‘very likely’ won EU referendum due to illegal overspending, says Oxford professor’s evidence to High Court

Brexit: Leave ‘very likely’ won EU referendum due to illegal overspending, says Oxford professor’s evidence to High Court

It is “very likely” that the UK voted for Brexit because of illegal overspending by the Vote Leave campaign, according to an Oxford professor’s evidence to the High Court.

An exhaustive analysis of the campaign’s digital strategy concludes it reached “tens of millions of people” in its last crucial days, after its spending limit had been breached – enough to change the outcome.

The evidence will be put to the High Court on Friday, in a landmark case that is poised to rule within weeks whether the referendum result should be declared void because the law was broken.

Professor Philip Howard, director of the Oxford Internet Institute, at the university, said: “My professional opinion is that it is very likely that the excessive spending by Vote Leave altered the result of the referendum.

“A swing of just 634,751 people would have been enough to secure victory for Remain.

“Given the scale of the online advertising achieved with the excess spending, combined with conservative estimates on voter modelling, I estimate that Vote Leave converted the voting intentions of over 800,000 voters in the final days of the campaign as a result of the overspend.”

The conclusion came as Theresa May scrambled to find a concession she could give to rebel Tories to persuade them to back her deal, as she appeared to be veering towards a heavy defeat in next Tuesday’s landmark vote.

Full article in The Independent

Illegal overspend from Vote Leave altered EU referendum, says new report

Illegal overspend from Vote Leave altered EU referendum, says new report

Professor Philip N. Howard studied the digital campaign strategy and practices of Vote Leave and its impact on voter behaviour – using materials disclosed by Facebook to the parliamentary committee investigating “fake news” and publicly available accounts written by campaign insiders.

Howard who is the director of the Oxford Internet Institute provided an expert’s report to the claimants in the UK in EU Challenge judicial review. He concludes that Vote Leave reached tens of millions of people over the last few days of the campaign as a result of Facebook advertising purchased in excess of its statutory spending limit.

Croft Solicitors, which is acting on behalf of the UK in EU Challenge claimants, have now asked the High Court for permission to use the report as evidence at a hearing.

Professor Howard said: “Having studied its digital campaign in line with voter psychology and behaviour, my professional opinion is that it is very likely that the excessive spending by Vote Leave altered the result of the referendum.

“A swing of just 634,751 people would have been enough to secure victory for Remain. Given the scale of the online advertising achieved with the excess spending combined with conservative estimates on voter modelling, I estimate that Vote Leave converted the voting intentions of over 800,000 voters in the final days of the campaign as a result of the overspend.”

Read full story in The New European