The announcement of the date for the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union has triggered a surge in the numbers of British expats wanting to register to vote. Latest figures show thousands of British nationals who live overseas are now going to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote in order to be able to have their say on 23 June.

The average daily rate of online registrations by Britons abroad has quadrupled from an average of just over 600 per day before the announcement of the referendum date last weekend, to more than 2600 per day since then. The Electoral Commission has launched a global campaign to encourage an estimated five million Britons living overseas to check their eligibility to vote ahead of the referendum on EU membership. The Foreign Office is supporting the campaign overseas, including in Spain.

The British Ambassador Simon Manley, visiting Malaga on Tuesday (23 February), said: “Whether you think the UK should remain in or leave the EU, 23 June will be your chance to have your say. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the British people to decide. You might be asking yourself, why bother to vote? Although you may now live in Spain, most expats still have strong ties with the UK – financial, family, friends. You may also decide to return one day. So you very probably do have a stake in the outcome and how it may affect your life. I strongly encourage you to register to vote – just go online and follow the simple process.”

If you have been on the UK electoral roll within the last 15 years, you are eligible to vote. Former residents of England, Scotland and Wales can quickly register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.

If you last lived in Northern Ireland then you need to download an overseas voter application form from the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland, at www.eoni.org.uk.


To be able to write a comment, you have to be registered and be logged in.

* Mandatory fields

sallie woodford / Hace over 5 years

I wrote to Cameron early last year about the Referéndum, making a strong case for the 15 year rule to be extended at least if not for the long term, but for the UK Referéndum. My letter also contained two salient questions, as I thought it was more likely to get a substantive response, rather than just making statements or observations. I received a standard "No 10" acknowledgement a week or so later, then nothing for two months, so I wrote again, and this time received another standard type acknowledgement telling me I must appreciate that the PM received a lot of mail, and my letter had been forwarded to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for responding. Another two months elapsed, so I wrote again, and 10 days later received a response from the FCO. The letter simply reiterated much of what my own letter had said, and my questions were not even acknowledged, let alone responded to. The letter concluded by saying that the 15 years rule was under discussion, but was unlikely to be resolved in time for the Referéndum. Complete waste of time, and three lots of postage!!

I do not understand Cameron's logic if he is genuine in his support for the UK to remain in the EU, when he would be guaranteed throusands of yes votes fron British Expats throughout Europe. Thousands of those are peope who have paid into the UK contributions and tax system for years throughout their working lives, but have no rights at all compared with millions of others who have made a substantially lesser contribution. I can appreciate the UK population will have no interest in how a no vote will impact on British Expats throughout Europe, and why they should they, but surely the UK Government owes us some respect for our years of contributions? For many their homes and lives are "under threat" for all the reasons covered in other correspondence.

I personally hold two men responsible for this - Farage for his scaremoring during his Election Campaign, and Cameron for allowing himself to be frightened into promising this Referéndum. Two men, whose political posturing purely for the puropse of gaining votes who have put thousands of us in this very stressful situation, and are being excluded from even the right to vote on our own futures.


keith / Hace over 5 years

go on then Cynthia . your point being ? . am I supposed to be impressed or feel sorry for you ? I don't understand your post .


CYNTHIA EUGENIE NOLAN / Hace over 5 years



keith / Hace over 5 years

The former Labour Foreign Secretary David Owen says it's safer to Vote Leave:

"To remain in the EU is in my judgement a more dangerous option for British security in its deepest sense – economic, political, military and social – than remaining in a dysfunctional EU dragged down by a failing Eurozone. Remaining in the EU is risking more than leaving." What else can I say .