Campaign for MPs for British expats gathering support. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


Last month the Bulletin ran an interview with former Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake, now director of campaign group Unlock Democracy, who is leading the march in association with New Europeans UK and a number of other lobby groups for MPs to be introduced to represent British constituents overseas.

He told the Bulletin that the campaign is already attracting a great deal of interest and that he is in talks with various political parties in the UK who have expressed an interest and now some senior political names from all sides have backed the campaign including Ben Bradshaw MP (Lab), Baroness Catherine Meyer (Con) alongside several Lib Dem MPs and Lib Dem peers. Others are open-minded about the proposal, including Andrew Murrison (Con), Baroness Altmann (Con), Matt Western MP (Labour), Lord Watson of Invergowrie (Labour), and Lord Knight of Weymouth (Labour).

Dr Ruvi Ziegler, chair of New Europeans UK said: “We are asking Parliamentarians to support our campaign to introduce overseas constituencies for UK citizens living abroad, for instance by tabling parliamentary questions, initiating debates, tabling Early Day Motions, and pressing for the inclusion of support for overseas constituencies in party manifestos.”

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The idea is to introduce overseas constituencies for the tens of thousands of UK citizens living and working abroad.

This would mean they would be represented by an MP in the UK parliament, who represents all the other UK citizens in that country or region of the world. Such a move is not without precedent.

Campaigners are encouraged by new UK legislation which will end the 15-year limit that had hitherto applied to voting eligibility of British citizens who reside abroad.

This means that any British citizen resident outside the UK, who was previously registered to vote in the UK, or was previously resident in the UK, will be entitled to vote in Parliamentary elections in future, irrespective of the length of their absence.