London, April 28 (IANS) The High Court of Justice has rejected an attempt to force the British government to grant millions of citizens living abroad a vote in June’s European Union (EU) referendum.
The legal challenge, brought by two disenfranchised expats on behalf of those living overseas for over 15 years, was dismissed by Justice Lloyd Jones, The Guardian reported on Thursday.
The government, the judges said, was entitled to adopt a cut-off period “at which extended residence abroad might indicate a weakening of ties with the United Kingdom”.
The ruling also noted that there would be “significant practical difficulties about adopting, especially for this referendum, a new electoral register which includes non-resident British citizens whose last residence in the UK was more than 15 years ago”.
The case was brought by 94-year-old Harry Shindler, a Second World War veteran who lives in Italy, and the lawyer Jacquelyn MacLennan who lives in Belgium.