Could Brexit Be Void?

11 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2018 Last revised: 21 Feb 2019

See all articles by Ewan McGaughey

Ewan McGaughey

School of Law, King's College, London; Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge; University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law Study Group

Date Written: August 16, 2018

Abstract

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

McGaughey, Ewan, Could Brexit Be Void? (August 16, 2018). 29(3) King's Law Journal 331-343; King's College London Law School Research Paper No. 2018-29. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3232632 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3232632

Ewan McGaughey (Contact Author)

School of Law, King's College, London; Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/ewan.mcgaughey.html

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley Comparative Equality & Anti-Discrimination Law Study Group

Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

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