Britons take battle for EU referendum vote to supreme court

Harry Shindler takes case to supreme court over ex-pats' right to vote in Brexit referendum.

Two British ex-pats have taken an emergency case to the British supreme court after losing their latest attempt to overturn a law barring Britons who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting in British elections.

The legal case by the pair, who have both lived outside the UK for decades, was rejected by the court of appeal on 20 May, ahead of the so-called “Brexit” referendum on 23 June and an emergency hearing is expected tin the next few days, according to The Guardian.

The case was taken to the court of appeal 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 Scottish lawyer based in Brussels.

Shindler has lived in Italy for 35 years while MacLennon has lived in Belgium since 1987.

The pair argue that they are affected directly by the upcoming referendum on whether or not Britain should leave the European Union. They contested that the rule was “arbitary” and restricted their right to freedom of movement under EU law.

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

Shindler and MacLennan are now pinning their hopes on an emergency ruling by the supreme court on Tuesday 23 May. Cases usually take years to reach the court. The deadline for registration to vote in the British referendum on the EU is 7 June.