Andrew Castle 4pm - 6pm
"Brexit Referendum Was Corruptly Won, But Result Stands Thanks To Loophole"
25 February 2019, 14:46
The EU referendum was won based on a corrupt campaign, but the courts can't void the result because the referendum only advisory, according to the barrister who took the government to court.
Based on Electoral Commission findings about overspending by Vote Leage, British people living in Europe launched a legal case arguing the referendum result should in effect be set aside. Last week, Court of Appeal judges denied them permission to appeal after losing the case.
Jessica Simor had argued that it was wholly unreasonable for the Prime Minister to proceed with Article 50 on the basis that the referendum was lawful, knowing what is now known about proven illegalities.
Speaking today to James O'Brien, she said the result would have already been quashed if the referendum was binding.
But because it was only advisory - even if the Prime Minister isn't treating it as such - they could not overturn the result.
James summed up: "If the referendum had been legally binding, then the findings of the Electoral Commission would have rendered it invalid. Because if it's been corruptly delivered, how on earth can we be held to it?
"But because it wasn't binding, we can be held to something that is corruptly delivered. Woah!
"The will of the people is meaningless if the people were victims of corrupt practices or lied to.
"The court essentially found that the Prime Minister is not obliged to take account of the mounting evidence that casts doubt on the legitimacy of the referendum."
Ms Simor added: "It's slightly worse than that. The High Court found that we were too late. They said we should have brought the claim three months after the expenses had been lodged at the Electoral Commission, which was December 2016.
"But at that point, nobody knew anything about this.
"We've been told we had to do something which was impossible. And would have failed at that point because it was impossible."
It's an interesting new avenue on Brexit - watch the full interview at the top of the page.