By Guy Faulconbridge
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s serious crime agency has started an investigation into Brexit backer Arron Banks over the source of 8 million pounds ($10.4 million) in loans to groups including Leave.EU which campaigned to leave the European Union.
WHY DO WE CARE?
Banks has said the investigation is part of an attempt to undermine Brexit. He has repeatedly insisted that the money came from him and that no Russian funding was involved.
But if criminal offences or foreign funding are proven, that could cast doubt on the legitimacy of the whole Brexit vote.
The groups that received the loans ran emotive publicity campaigns to persuade people to vote to leave the EU – and the final result was close. In the June 23, 2016 referendum, 17.4 million voters, or 51.9 percent, backed Brexit while 16.1 million, or 48.1 percent, backed staying in the bloc.