Palma.—A new website has been set up to draw attention to the “scandalous denial of voting rights to British expatriates who have lived outside the UK for more than fifteen years.”

The campaign has already received support from both Conservative and Lib Dem MPs who also believe that the government should enable and encourage all its expatriate citizens – not just some of them – to participate fully in the political process in their home country, by giving them unrestricted voting rights in national elections, as in most other advanced democracies.

There are over 5.5 million Britons living abroad, including members of the armed forces, and while countries like France even have Senators looking after the interests of French expatriates, many Britons living abroad feel disengaged from their country of birth by the unfair voting rules which were made more restrictive by the former Labour government.

This campaign is headed by a consortium of groupings and associations both of a general nature and political and they are hoping to get as many expatriates as possible to sign up to the cause via their website.

Commons
Lord McNally (Minister of State for Justice; Liberal Democrat), has gone on the record as saying in the Commons: “Early in this Parliament we should have a really radical look at voting for our overseas residents. On a wide range of the issues raised, such as the 15-year rule which was raised by my noble friends Lord Lexden and Lord Lester, I do not think there is a rationale for the figure of 15 years, five years, or 20 years. However, I think that it is certain that, in a world where many more people work abroad, the issue should be properly looked at.” Conservative MP Viscount Astor has also added his voice by telling MPs: “We seem to be the only EU country that does not encourage its citizens living abroad to play an active part in their own country. It is difficult to register and it is difficult to vote.” Conservatives Abroad in Majorca also want the current rules reviewed.
For more information and to back the campaign visit: votes-for-expat-brits.com

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