Parliamentary petition to Implement Votes for Life legislation before EU referendum
Britons will shortly be voting to say whether Britain should remain a member of the EU. Well, a lot of them will. The ones resident in the UK (perhaps even 16- and 17-year-olds) will. The ones resident for a few years outside the UK will. The good folk of Gibraltar will.
So, all these people have a right to a vote. Which UK citizens, you may ask, are being left out?
The answer is the UK citizens of voting age who have lived outside the UK for more than 15 years.
The question is, why?
It’s a good one.
If they haven’t changed their nationality, they’re no less British. If they’re resident elsewhere in the EU, they have at least as much interest in the outcome of the referendum as Britons resident in the UK. The argument that they have no interest in the UK is spurious for a number of reasons.
Their exclusion is undemocratic. Whether they are pro- or anti-EU is irrelevant, they have a democratic right to express their opinion, and the motives of those who seek to repress that right are open to question.
The other question is, why 15 years? Is there a time limit on democracy? I’m sure we all hope not.
Please sign the petition asking that all UK citizens be free to register their vote.
New Europeans are running a survey on voting for expatriates, you can find it here: New Europeans – Expatriates & the 15 year rule please take a little time to complete it. It will help support the Votes for Life case.