Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Chris Wylie has said the UK lacks a “democratic mandate” for leaving Europe in the wake of revelations about the Brexit campaign’s alleged links to data harvesting.
Wylie, who is himself a Brexit voter, told the BBC Andrew Marr Show the questions raised by several allegations mean the Government must seek a fresh mandate for leaving the bloc.
It came after Facebook suspended the Canadian data firm AggregateIQ with which the official Vote Leave campaign spent 40% of its budget.
The firm has links to Cambridge Analytica, which is said to have harvested data from 87 million Facebook profiles without consent, and its parent company SCL.
AggregateIQ played a central role in the EU referendum, with a total of £3.5m being spent on its services by four different Brexit campaigns: Vote Leave, BeLeave, Veterans for Britain and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party.
Wylie said: “I want a democratic mandate for Brexit.”
He added: “What I’m saying, and I’m saying this as someone who supported Leave, I’m saying this as a euro-sceptic myself, [is that] this is a fundamental change to the constitutional settlements of Britain, the foundational law of Britain.
“What I am saying is, if we can’t go back from Brexit, if this is a one-time decision, we need absolute clarity that the decision made by the British people was made fairly and compliant with the law.
“And so, if that means that we have to go back to the British people and ask for a clarification, I think the British people should have a say and make sure that what we’re doing is with the consent of people.”
Presenter Andrew Marr said Wylie’s contention rested on campaigns being able to successfully use data, on say a person’s film or music preferences, to transform an individual’s voting intention.
Wylie said data helped firms look at “psychological constructs”.
“What you can do with algorithms is understand [..] what makes you tick and what kind of information is going to make you behave in a particular way,” he said.
“It’s not just that we are pulling movies, it’s that we can understand more deeply who you are.”