I was rather alarmed to read that Britain has failed to reach an accord with the European Union regarding the voting rights of British expats post-Brexit. Brexit minister David Davis said that bilateral agreements might have to be signed with each individual country. It could mean that the voting rights of British citizens living in Spain could be in doubt. At the moment British citizens can vote in local council elections and also European elections. It had been hoped that voting rights would be extended to also include Spanish general elections but the referendum result put an end to those dreams.
At the moment in the Balearics, only one in five British citizens exercise their right to vote in the local elections. Local political parties, to some extent, have lost interest in the so-called foreign vote because of the low turnout. The centre-right Partido Popular went to a lot of trouble to try and court the foreign vote in previous elections and to some extent they were successful. In areas such as Calvia the foreign vote can hold the balance of power. One of the reasons why the Partido Popular were defeated in the last local elections was because many non-Spanish voters decided to stay at home.
I believe that it is vital that we keep the vote. Our voice needs to be heard at council level. If Britain can't reach an agreement with Spain over voting rights for expats then it would be a major blow. While the voter turnout might be small, the vote is still important to many.