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Russian interference in the 2016 Brexit referendum concerns the evidence and ongoing investigation[1] by the UK Electoral Commission, the UK Parliament's Culture Select Committee, and the US Senate, on alleged Russian interference in the "Brexit" poll of 23 June 2016.[2]

Background[edit]

After the referendum on the United Kingdom exiting the European Union ("Brexit"), Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that Russia "might be happy" with a positive Brexit vote. The official Remain campaign accused the Kremlin of secretly backing a positive Brexit vote.[3]

After the vote[edit]

In December 2016, Ben Bradshaw MP claimed in Parliament that Russia had interfered in the Brexit referendum campaign.[4] In February 2017, Bradshaw called on the British intelligence service, Government Communications Headquarters, then under Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary, to reveal any information it had on Russian interference.[5]

In June 2017, it was reported by The Guardian that "Leave" campaigner Nigel Farage was a "person of interest" in the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation into Russian interference in the United States 2016 Presidential election.[6] Farage has called claims that he had any involvement, "What utter baloney, complete and utter baloney." By November 2017 he had yet to be questioned by the FBI.[7]

In October 2017, Members of Parliament in the Culture, Media and Sport Committee demanded that Facebook, Twitter, Google and other social media corporations, to disclose all adverts and details of payments by Russia in the Brexit campaign.[8]

On 12 December 2017, members of the US Congress Ruben Gallego, Eric Swalwell and Gerry Connolly wrote to the Director of National Intelligence requesting information on Russian interference in the Brexit vote.[9] On 13 December 2017, Facebook stated that it found no significant Russian activity during Brexit, but this was immediately rejected by the committee chair, Damian Collins, as being information that was already public after US investigations into Russian interference.[10]

In January 2018, a US Senate minority report suggested possible ways Russia may have influenced the Brexit campaign.[11] It stated,[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ 'UK investigates Brexit campaign funding amid speculation of Russian meddling' (1 November 2017) Reuters. 'The UK's election watchdog has now questioned Google over Russian meddling in Brexit' (28 November 2017) Business Insider. P Wintour, 'Russian bid to influence Brexit vote detailed in new US Senate report' (10 January 2018) Guardian
  3. ^ S Rosenberg, ‘EU referendum: What does Russia gain from Brexit?’ (26 June 2016) BBC News
  4. ^ Highly probable' that Russia interfered in Brexit referendum, Labour MP says' (13 December 2016) Independent
  5. ^ J Kanter and A Bienkov, 'Labour MPs think the government is hiding info about Russia interfering with Brexit' (23 February 2016) Business Insider
  6. ^ 'Nigel Farage is 'person of interest' in FBI investigation into Trump and Russia' (2 June 2017) Guardian
  7. ^ https://www.fnlondon.com/articles/an-audience-with-nigel-farage-taking-money-from-russia-utter-baloney-20171113
  8. ^ 'MPs order Facebook to hand over evidence of Russian election meddling' (24 October 2017) Telegraph
  9. ^ Democratic Congressmen request information about possible Russian interference in “Brexit” vote (12 December 2017)
  10. ^ M Burgess, 'Facebook claims Russia paid for 3 ads around Brexit – costing 73p' (13 December 2017) Wired
  11. ^ P Wintour, 'Russian bid to influence Brexit vote detailed in new US Senate report' (10 January 2018) Guardian
  12. ^ US Committee on Foreign Relations, Minority Report, 'Putin's Asymmetric Assault on Democracy in Russia and Europe: Implications for U.S. National Security' (2018)

External links[edit]

  • Bastos, M.T. and Mercea, D. (2017). The Brexit Botnet and User-Generated Hyperpartisan News. Social Science Computer Review
  • R Booth et al, 'Russia used hundreds of fake accounts to tweet about Brexit, data shows' (14 November 2017) Guardian
  • M Burgess, 'Facebook claims Russia paid for 3 ads around Brexit – costing 73p' (13 December 2017) Wired
  • US Committee on Foreign Relations, Minority Report, 'Putin's Asymmetric Assault on Democracy in Russia and Europe: Implications for U.S. National Security' (2018)

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