Parliamentary petition to Implement Votes for Life legislation before EU referendum
We have been supporting the campaign by Votes for Expat Brits to remove this limit for many months. Through the efforts of people such as 91 year old Harry Schindler a commitment has been secured from the Conservative party to remove this iniquitous limit.
Bizarrely the Government has said that the change will not be made before the EU Referendum. The bid to reverse this illogical decision has received two significant boosts.
Firstly, we have agreed on a joint effort with New Europeans for the removal of the 15 year limit which will combine promoting the petition alongside a questionnaire being run by New Europeans on the importance of voting rights for all UK expatriates including those who have been out of the UK for more than 15 years.
You can find the survey on the New Europeans site New Europeans – Expatriates & the 15 year rule
Secondly, the European Movement UK adopted a motion at its Annual General Meeting that:
“European Movement will actively campaign for the removal, at the earliest possible date and certainly before the EU Referendum, of the 15 year restriction on the voting rights of UK Citizens resident outside the UK.”
Sadly implacable opposition from the Labour Party as confirmed by the Labour Peer Baroness Morgan of Ely in the House of Lords a few days ago, makes the implementation of this change difficult –
“We believe that there should be a cut-off point when people should lose their entitlement to vote if they have made their home abroad. We think that the current cut-off point of 15 years is about right. However, let me make it absolutely clear that there is no inconsistency in Labour’s position on this. The Conservative Government have said clearly that they want to see this extended. It is in their manifesto. They want British citizens who move abroad to be able to vote for ever. We do not believe that. When that Bill comes before this House we will oppose it.”