Britons abroad lose legal battle for right to vote

Harry Shindler loses high court battle over right to vote in Brexit referendum.

Two Britons living abroad have lost their high court bid to change a British law barring British expats who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting in British elections.

The legal case was taken ahead of the so-called "Brexit" referendum on 23 June by 94-year-old Italian resident Harry Shindler MBE, a veteran of the Battle of Anzio and the liberation of Rome in world war two, and Jacquelyn MacLennan, a Brussels-based lawyer.

Jacquelyn MacLennon and Harry Shindler MBE
Jacquelyn MacLennon and Harry Shindler MBE

The pair called for a judicial review of the 15-year rule, arguing that they were affected directly by the upcoming referendum on whether or not Britain should leave the European Union. Shindler and MacLennon contested that the rule was "arbitary" and restricted their right to freedom of movement under EU law.

Their appeal was rejected by the high court, meaning that up to two million Britons living outside the UK elsewhere in Europe remain barred from casting their vote.

Brits living abroad can check if they are eligible to vote from overseas in the upcoming referendum by consulting the Gov.UK website.