Question for Written Answer: The Brexit referendum campaign and Russian interference

Question for written answer to the Commission (Rule 130) by Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE), Julie Girling (ECR), Catherine Bearder (ALDE), Richard Corbett (S&D), Jill Evans (Verts/ALE), Jean Lambert (Verts/ALE), Jude Kirton-Darling (S&D), Paul Brannen (S&D) and Clare Moody (S&D) on “The Brexit referendum campaign and Russian interference”.

Question for written answer E-007290/2017
to the Commission
Rule 130
Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE), Julie Girling (ECR), Catherine Bearder (ALDE), Richard Corbett (S&D), Jill Evans (Verts/ALE), Jean Lambert (Verts/ALE), Jude Kirton-Darling (S&D), Paul Brannen (S&D) and Clare Moody (S&D)

Subject: The Brexit referendum campaign and Russian interference

In recent weeks, it has become increasingly clear that the 2016 campaign for the UK referendum on EU membership was subject to the influence of Russian-sponsored initiatives. Evidence has emerged of links between pro-Brexit campaigners and intermediaries for the Russian Government. In addition, a study has revealed that over 156 000 Russian-based Twitter accounts were engaged in a concerted campaign to over-represent support for the Leave side in the lead-up to the referendum. It appears that Putin considers UK separation from the EU to be a strategic advantage for Russia.
Is the Commission aware of these links and that such techniques were deployed during the UK referendum campaign?
Will either the East StratCom agency or the new High-Level Expert Group be investigating this in the future?
Does the Commission consider that such interference in the referendum campaign was an attempt by the Kremlin to attack and destabilise the EU?

Source: Council of the European Union

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