One of the main funders of the Leave campaign, Arron Banks, reportedly asked Cambridge Analytica in October 2015 to raise funds in the United States to help further the push to get British voters to cast their ballot for a divorce from the EU and for Americans who were heading to the polls to vote for Donald J. Trump.
Co-founded by Steve Bannon, Cambridge Analytica is a political data-analytics company that is believed to be the common denominator between the Leave and Trump campaigns.
UK law forbids campaign funding from overseas firms or individuals.
According to emails published by Open Democracy and CNN, in 2015 Bannon and Banks began planning a campaign against the Transatlantic Trade deal (TTIP), which was eventually scrapped by Trump.
In an email dated October 24, 2015, they also discuss raising funds in the United States for the Leave campaign, targeting people with family ties in the UK.
Banks is currently under criminal investigation after the Electoral Commission said it suspected that the £9 million Banks channelled into UKIP and the Leave campaign was not his own. Banks has denied he solicited or accepted funds for the campaign from the United States.
Cambridge Analytica, which filed for bankruptcy in May following allegations it used millions of Facebook users’ data, has denied working for the Leave campaign.