Disinfo: Remainers lie that Brexit referendum was “advisory” to sabotage people’s democratic choice


The 2016 Brexit referendum was not advisory in nature. The term “advisory” was created by Remainers to destroy and damage Brexit.

The politicians at the time said: “We will carry out the express will of this vote.” There is nothing advisory about that.


This claim is false.

Given its strong tradition of parliamentarism, the United Kingdom has seen very few national referenda. In fact, the fundamental UK principle of parliamentary sovereignty makes it à priori impossible for a any national poll to have a binding effect on the legislature.

The legal basis for holding the 2016 Brexit referendum was the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 and the purpose-made European Union Referendum Act 2015. Even before the referendum, experts made it clear that the latter piece of legislation "makes no provision as to the referendum's legal effect."

All of the above has been confirmed in a High Court ruling of 3 November 2016:

"That Act [on the EU membership referendum] falls to be interpreted in light of the basic constitutional principles of Parliamentary sovereignty and representative parliamentary democracy which apply in the United Kingdom, which lead to the conclusion that a referendum on any topic can only be advisory for the lawmakers in Parliament unless very clear language to the contrary is used in the referendum legislation in question. No such language is used in the 2015 Referendum Act."


  • Reported in: Issue164
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/09/2019
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: UK
  • Keywords: EU, Brexit, Manipulated elections/referendum, Sovereignty, Referendum, Europe


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

see more

Kharkiv, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhia are willing to be part of Russia

There are other regions in Ukraine willing to be part of Russia: Kharkiv, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhia. All these cities are located in key economic areas.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the disintegration of Ukraine with no evidence provided to support this claim.

Crimea was illegally annexed by Russia. See a similar case: Crimea re-united with Russia on the basis of the will of Crimea’s citizens, and more examples here. Donbas region continues to fall under acts of aggression by the Russian military forces. See similar cases here. 

NATO exercises are part of “anaconda ring” strategy to encircle Russia

There has been a sharp increase in the number and intensity of NATO exercises around Russia’s borders. These exercises are not separate from one another, but together comprise an encirclement strategy known as the “anaconda ring.”


Recurring pro-Kremlin narrative on Western attempts to encircle Russia.

NATO is not a threat to Russia. NATO is a defensive alliance. Its purpose is to protect the member states. NATO's exercises and military deployments are not directed against Russia – nor any other country. However, in March 2014, in response to Russia's aggressive actions against Ukraine, NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia. NATO does not seek confrontation, but it cannot ignore Russia breaking international rules, undermining stability and security. See more for NATO's response to the crisis in Ukraine and security concerns in Central and Eastern Europe here.

In both world wars Britain’s goal was to eliminate historical Russia

Pre-revolutionary Russia prevented Britain from establishing its global dominance. Following the 1917 February Revolution and the end of Russian empire, Neville Chamberlain stated that one of the main goals of the WWI was achieved. Hence, while being nominally a Russian ally, Britain played a double game with the aim to eliminate Russian empire as a competitor to British global rule.

WWII was the continuation of this British policy, aimed this time at elimination of Soviet regime. Britain hated it because the USSR provoked national movements in British colonies. The goal of British empire and Anglo-Saxons was very clear, i.e. to eliminate the USSR through the Anti-Comintern Pact. British authorities including prime minister Chamberlain hated the USSR, to be clearer historical Russia, as much as Hitler did.


This is ungrounded generalisation and historical revisionism, in order to portray Britain as aggressive power in both world wars and Russian empire / USSR as a victim in both global conflicts. The accusations that the UK had “expansionist plans” in Europe and attempted to provoke a war between Germany and the USSR is historical manipulation.

The Anti-Comintern Pact mentioned in the article was established by Axis Powers Japan and Germany. Britain was never a part of the Anti-Comintern Pact.