The Supreme Court held an oral hearing of the application for permission to appeal in the case of R (Shindler & Anor) v Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster & Anor, with the appeal to follow immediately if permission to appeal was granted.

The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal and the Court of Appeal judgment will therefore stand.

Giving the Court’s decision, Lady Hale (Deputy President of the Supreme Court) said: “We should make it clear that the question is not whether this particular voting exclusion is justifiable as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. The question is instead, firstly, whether European Union law applies at all, as only if it does so is there any possibility of attacking an Act of Parliament; and secondly, if so, whether there is any interference with the right of free movement.

Assuming for the sake of argument that European Union law does apply, the Court decided that it is not arguable that there is an interference with right of free movement, for the reasons given by the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal.

Lady Hale did state that the Court had considerable sympathy for the situation in which the applicants find themselves and understood that this is something which concerns them deeply. However it believed it could not discern a legal basis for challenging this statute. Accordingly the application for permission to appeal is refused.