I’m not sure. Strictly speaking, yes, they did. But the Leave campaign still behaved unethically. People cannot be expected to educate themselves — they should, but they won’t — and whenever a popular vote is called for politicians are expected to present the electorate with facts, not fiction. All Johnson and Gove wanted was to elbow Cameron out of the way: they NEVER wanted to win. They hoped to use the British electorate as leverage. I hope they go down in history as the irresponsible brats that they are.
Let this be a cautionary tale for Americans: it might happen to them, too (and sooner than you think). What began as a bit of a prank played on the GOP might be their downfall.