Veteran Harry Shindler asks Human Rights Commission to cancel referendum result

Published:  29 Jun at 6 PM
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Famous for his long term attempts to regain the vote for UK expats who’ve lived abroad for more than 15 years, Harry Shindler is appealing to the Human Rights Commission to void the referendum result.

Harry’s fight to allow long-stay UK expats to vote has taken at least a decade, and is highly personal for him as he first arrived in Italy as a soldier during WW2. He met and later married his Italian sweetheart, and has lived in Italy ever since without losing his affection for the land of his birth.

His first attempt involved petitioning Conservative and Labour politicians, whose less than helpful replies told him he’d severed all ties with the UK and had no right to vote. Undeterred, he took his complaint to the European Court of Human Rights, unfortunately with similarly depressing results. One European commissioner, however, took his point and accused the UK of hitting on long-stay expats for having the nerve to emigrate.

In 2014, the European Commission got real and criticised the UK government’s stance on the matter but, as usual, Westminster ignored the recommendation. Most people, at this point, might well have given up and got on with life, but Harry’s not like that. After the referendum was announced, he attacked again with a no win-no fee lawyer backing him to the hilt. His battle with the UK courts ended up at the Supreme Court, who stuck to their political guns even although the 2015 Conservative election manifesto promised to look again at the ban.

Post Brexit, it’s possible that the million and more long-stay UK expats living long-term in the EU and across the world could easily have prevented the present disaster had they been able to vote Remain. Fully aware of this and determined to be a very large thorn in the British government’s side, Harry has now appealed to the Human Rights Commission to void the referendum result.

Harry fought for his country and is a true WWII hero – at the age of 94 he’s fighting yet again for the rights of British expats in the EU who stand to lose all should the worst scenario prevail. ‘We’ve had 70 years of peace’ he told reporters, adding that it should be kept that way. Being the man he is, he didn’t push the point that he, too, might have to face leaving his home after nearly 7 decades.
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