The last year has seen mounting evidence of illegal campaign spending, data theft and foreign interference during the Brexit referendum campaign. Two pro-Brexit campaign organisations, Leave.Eu and Vote Leave, were fined and reported to the police by the Electoral Commission.
The United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency also started investigating billionaire Brexit campaigner, Arron Banks, who gave ￡12m ($15,277m) to Brexit campaigns, including UK Independence Party (UKIP) and Nigel Farage’s campaign Leave.EU, making him the biggest donor in the country’s history.
So, was the 2016 Brexit referendum in the UK a free and fair vote?
Carole Cadwalladr is an award-winning investigative journalist for the Guardian and The Observer, and broke many stories about wrongdoings in that 2016 vote.
“If you’re going to have a referendum, that is going to affect the foundation, the constitution of our country forever, you better do that within the law,” she says.
Steven Woolfe, member of the European Parliament and former member of the UKIP disagrees, saying “we absolutely won fair and square”. He emphasises that the criminal inquiries that Cadwalladr referred to are “not beyond a criminal level of proof”.
On this UpFront Arena, we debate the extent of interference in that referendum and whether it could have affected the result.
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