I was pleasantly surprised at the reaction to my Viewpoint last week on why I believe non-Spanish Europeans residents in Spain should be able to vote in the forthcoming general elections in Spain. Some disagreed, some supported my view. What did amaze me, though, is why some people thought that I wanted to vote in a British general election. No thank you, I live in Spain. Why would I, who have lived in Spain for most of my life, want to get involved in an election in Britain? But I think this maybe is Britain´s problem with the European Union; no-one really understands it. My view is that although I am British I live in another member state and therefore I should have the same rights as in the country where I was born. It is called the free movement of labour. It is why I believe that British pensioners living in Spain should be entitled to all the benefit their counterparts receive in Britain; why should they be discriminated against simply because they live in another member state? These are important issues which Europe needs to address. However, attitudes to Europe in Britain need to change. Europe is not about straight bananas and fat-cats in Brussels. It is our future. These days literally hundreds of thousands of Britons live in Europe. Their move has been made far easier by the fact that the European Union exists. I would say that a large proportion will never return to Britain. So what should they do; change their nationality? Of course not. The days of the mother country are long gone. But what the European Union needs to do is ensure that their is no discrimination. Not having the vote in general elections is a classic example. Also, an identity card please, instead of the useless new certificates.
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