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EU referendum: Expats challenge exclusion from voting

Related Member(s):
Aidan O’Neill QC (Scot), Christopher Brown, Anita Davies
Related Practice Area(s):
EU Law

Two British expats are challenging the decision to bar British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting in the EU referendum.

Current rules state that British nationals who have lived abroad for more than 15 years are unable to vote in UK elections. Harry Schindler, a 94-year old expatriate living in Italy and Jacquelyn MacLennan who resides in Belgium, claim that under the EU Referendum Act 2015 they are being denied the right to vote on the UK’s continued membership of the EU. They argue that they are being penalised for having exercised their EU law rights to free movement, and they will be at risk of losing their EU citizenship rights on which they rely in their day to day lives if Britain votes to leave the EU. The claimants are represented by solicitors from Leigh Day and Aidan O’Neill QC (Scot), Christopher Brown and Anita Davies from Matrix Chambers.