Voting in the UK. | CARL COURT - STRINGER

British expats in Mallorca and across the world who have fallen off UK electoral registers under Tony Blair’s ‘15-year rule’ are now expected to be able to re-register to vote from next January. But what’s the point? What will Britons abroad get in return? We pretty much have to fend for ourselves as it is.

I have lived, worked and paid my taxes in the Balearics for some 30 years, but I still cannot vote in Spanish regional or national elections, only at local council level. Yes, I am due to get my right to vote in UK general elections back in the New Year but, to be honest, I don’t care. I don’t live in the UK and have no intention of ever moving back there. I want to have a bigger say in what happens in Spain, that is where I live.

Furthermore, should Labour win the next election, will the new British government make it reciprocal? If Spaniards who are fully legal and paid up in the UK are allowed the vote, what about Britons in Spain? And is there more to this than meets the eye?

The Conservatives have said that the plans demonstrate Sir Keir’s distrust of the public and accuse him of plotting to rejoin the EU: “Allowing foreigners to vote is Sir Keir Starmer’s admission that he doesn’t trust the British people. He is laying the groundwork for a referendum to rejoin the EU, something he campaigned so passionately for. And now he wants to rig the outcome.”

Looking from the outside in, overturning Brexit is not a bad idea, but I wouldn’t open the voting floodgates. And as things stand I doubt very much the expat Tory vote is highly unlikely to save Sunak.