British expats lose Brexit challenge after taking case to EU court 'because we couldn't vote in 2016 referendum'

James Morris

Thirteen expat Brits who tried to challenge Brexit because they were not able to vote in the EU referendum have had a court appeal rejected.

EU judges have dismissed a case brought by the group, which included a Second World War veteran.

Harry Shindler, a 97-year-old living in Italy, was among the 13 expats who complained that Brexit would deprive them of EU citizenship.

But on Monday, the EU’s General Court dismissed the action as inadmissible. It said the EU Council's decision to accept notification of Britain’s withdrawal did not in itself carry any definite consequences for their rights.

Julien Fouchet, a French lawyer acting for the group, said he would appeal to the Court of Justice, the EU's top court.

"Unacceptable," he tweeted. "The fight goes on."

Lawyer Julien Fouchet said he would take the case to the European Court of Justice (Francois Lenoir/Reuters)

Mr Shindler had demanded that all expats be given a vote in the referendum to London's High Court. Judges there ruled two months before the 2016 referendum that this would be too difficult for the authorities.

On Tuesday, the European Court of Justice, in Luxembourg, will hear a case brought by Scottish politicians who oppose Brexit and want judges to rule on whether the Article 50 notification process can be unilaterally revoked by the British government.

They hope that can strengthen a campaign to have Brexit halted altogether, although Prime Minister Theresa May continues to insist Brexit will go ahead.

Additional reporting by Reuters.