Leave Means Leave, the cross party campaign group for a true Brexit, is to mount legal action against the UK Government to ensure that European Elections will be held in the UK on May 23rd 2019 if Article 50 to leave the EU is extended. The organisation has appointed City law firm Wedlake Bell as well as Counsel from Field Court Chambers to prepare this claim.

The Prime Minister confirmed in Parliament in January 2019 that in the event of an extension, such European Elections would most likely be held. Leave Means Leave has written confirmation from the Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission that it is preparing and will be ready for these polls on 23rd May. However, concern is mounting amongst many Leave supporters that senior politicians are looking for ways to avoid holding such elections, for fear of the result.

There have been suggestions that a limited extension to Article 50, ending before the new EU European Parliament sits in early July, would negate the need for the UK to participate in EU elections. Leave Means Leave does not accept this argument. Such timing is clearly a tactic to avoid UK participation and cannot be trusted. Moreover there is nothing to suggest that a very short extension would change anything, especially since there will be no EU decision making capability while the Commission is in transition pending the May 23 polls. There is every likelihood of a further delay, leaving the UK a member of the EU without representation. This is unacceptable.

Leave Means Leave’s legal action is designed to ensure that if the UK is still a member of the EU on the 23rd May, European elections must be held on that day.

 John Longworth, Chairman of Leave Means Leave, said: “Recent events show that politicians can no longer be trusted to stick to their word on Brexit. European elections must be held in the UK if we have not left on 23rd May.”