Alison Saunders, the director of public prosecutions, is considering a complaint about “undue influence” on the EU referendum by the “Vote Leave” and “Leave.EU” campaigns. The complaint has been brought by an independent group and focuses on two claims made the Leave camp: firstly, that £350million per week could be spent on the NHS were Britain to leave the EU; and secondly, leaflets and posters which read “Turkey is joining the EU”, along with the assertion that “the UK has no border controls whilst in the EU”.
The independent group is led by Professor Bob Watt, an expert in electoral law from the University of Buckingham. Although normally the police must lodge a complaint before the CPS can consider it, Watt is relying on the 1983 Representation of the People Act, pursuant to which the DPP is permitted to consider cases of election offences when they are referred to her directly.
Were a case to be brought successfully, it would have no impact on the Brexit result, nor could it prevent the UK leaving the EU. It could however result in criminal punishment of any individual found by the courts to have made false and misleading statements.
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