LONDON, May 20, (Agencies): Two Britons who live abroad have lost a court battle for the right to vote in next month’s ballot on European Union membership.
British citizens who have lived in other EU countries for more than 15 years are not eligible to cast a ballot.
A London-born World War II veteran who lives in Italy and a Scottish lawyer who lives in Belgium argued the 15-year cutoff was arbitrary and unfair. But the Court of Appeal ruled Friday that the rule did not amount to an unjustified restriction on the common law right to vote.
The governing Conservatives have promised to remove the 15-year limit on expats’ voting rights, but not in time for the EU poll.
Lawyers for the claimants say they plan to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Leigh Day solicitors, who are bringing the test case, said they had secured a date for a hearing at Britain’s highest court on May 24.
“I am still waiting for the government to tell us why British citizens in Europe can’t vote in this referendum,” Shindler in a statement issued by the lawyers.