UK expats lose legal battle for EU referendum vote

04:05 PM | 28 Apr, 2016
UK expats lose legal battle for EU referendum vote
LONDON (APP) - A British World War II veteran living in Italy on Thursday lost his legal challenge against a rule barring long-term expatriates from voting in Britain's European Union referendum.

High Court judge David Lloyd Jones rejected claims by Harry Shindler, 94, and his co-claimant, Belgium resident Jacquelyn MacLennan, that the rule restricted their rights to freedom of movement under European law.

The judge told London's High Court that the 2015 referendum act "is not a restriction on the rights of free movement."

Lawyers acting for the expats said they will seek leave to appeal the decision.

The ruling is a relief for the government, whose lawyers argued that a decision in favour of the claimants could have made it impossible to hold the membership referendum on June 23, as planned.

Britons who have lived abroad for more than 15 years are prohibited from voting in British general elections and

as a result cannot participate.