EU referendum: It's official - expats won't be able to vote for or against Brexit, high court rules

Lynsey Barber
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British Royal Wedding Celebration in Costa del Sol
Around two million expats can't vote in the EU referendum (Source: Getty)

Two British expats have lost their legal battle for the right to vote in the upcoming referendum on EU membership, meaning around two million Brits living abroad will not be given a say.

Judges today rejected their application for a judicial review of the law, which states that anyone living outside of the UK for more than 15 years cannot vote.

The pair, 94-year-old Harry Shindler who lives in Italy and Jacquelyn MacLennan, a lawyer living in Belgium, had argued that the law had restricted their right to freedom of movement under EU laws, and that the referendum directly affected them.

There are millions of Brits living outside the UK, around 1.2m in EU countries and more than five million in total. The court heard that around two million expats are affected by the law.

According to recent surveys, the majority of expats support Britain remaining in the EU.

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