Could Brexit Be Void?
29(3) King's Law Journal 331-343
11 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2018 Last revised: 21 Feb 2019
Date Written: August 16, 2018
Could Brexit be void, and article 50 notification annulled, because of illegality and irregularity in the vote? This paper discusses the implications of three major reports issued in July 2018. First, the Electoral Commission found that ‘Vote Leave’ officials were guilty of criminal offences for overspending £449,079.34. Second, the Information Commissioner gave a ‘notice of intent’ to issue a £500,000 fine against Facebook for the criminal offence of enabling UK voters’ personal data to be harvested, and ultimately used in psychological profiling and targeted political advertising. Third, the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on ‘Fake News’ concluded Russia has engaged in ‘unconventional warfare’ against UK voters through Twitter and other social media, and potentially direct financing through a gold mine, to procure Brexit. Together, these amount to findings of major irregularities in the Brexit poll. The note examines common law authority on whether Brexit could be declared void for the vote’s irregularity, and the possibility that article 50 notification could be nullified. It finally addresses the central problem: the need to defend the integrity of political discourse.
Keywords: Brexit, fraud, democracy, integrity, constitutional law, fake news, Information Commissioner, Electoral Commission, Russia, war, data, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube
JEL Classification: K10, K13, K14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation