12-04-2016

Conservative MP for North Thanet and champion of expatriates, Sir Roger Gale, last week wrote to the prime minister again about the issue of the 15-year voting rule and tens of thousands of expatriates being unable to vote in the referendum, which could have important consequences for Britons living overseas.

David Cameron agreed with Sir Roger: "This is particularly important for those British citizens living elsewhere in the EU, whose circumstances might change if we (the UK) were to leave (the EU)."

The PM goes on to highlight the free movement Briton enjoy, the easy ability to work, travel and study within the EU and the right for Britons to receive state pensions and access to health care as if they were living back in the United Kingdom, in the country they now reside.

"By voting to remain in a reformed EU we know these rights will stay as they are," Cameron states. "If we vote to leave, however, we simply cannot guarantee that those benefits we enjoy as members of the EU will remain in place. We can offer no certainty on the arrangements that would have to be negotiated for those UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU. The government will, of course, respect the outcome of that decision. But the uncertainty that we currently face regarding the issue is one of the many reasons that I believe the UK will be stronger, safer and better off remaining in a reformed EU."

Sir Roger issues this message to expatriates.
"You all have friends and family remaining in the UK and who will vote. You may wish to impress upon them the significance of a "Brexit" for those living outside the UK but in the remaining states of the EU.

"I am sure that this will be considered, by some, to be another attempt at ‘scaremongering’, which is what those seeking to set out the likely effects of a ‘leave’ vote honestly now face, but I believe that the PM has set out the position relating to pensions and other benefits as clearly as, given the uncertainties, he is able."

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