new government and a new set of conditions for UK expats
An end to the fifteen year rule, perhaps?
In the UK, the fifteen year rule stipulates that expats who have lived outside of the UK for fifteen or more years lose their right to vote in the general election.
Tory rule may put an end to this, according to their manifesto:
‘“We will complete the electoral register, by working to include more of the five million Britons who live abroad. We will introduce votes for life, scrapping the rule that bars British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting.”’
Liberal Democrats also aimed at its removal. Clive Goodall, chairman of the Brussels and Europe Liberal Democrat, was quoted in condemnation:
“The current 15-year rule for overseas voters is an anachronism – citizens abroad can stay in touch and engage in British politics today as easily as those at home. We should bring our system in line with the rest of Europe, where 24 out of 28 countries allow their citizens abroad to keep their vote.”
Still, good news for expats.
However, a more efficient system and more encouragement to get them voting would be a better start – only 113,742 expats registered to vote out of an eligible five million and even so electoral ballot papers still failed to find far-flung brits in the run up to the election, as reported in The Telegraph.
Such a fact shames a two year-old ‘exclusive’ of the Independent that claimed millions would be wooed to vote on May 7.
Disenfranchised, disenchanted or disinterested, one thing is now clear – this prophecy did not come true.
This Tory government will decide a lot for the future of Europe-based expats too; a potential referendum would alter the living circumstances for the continentally-couched. Some of the potential outcomes are exhausted in the blogspot link below.
For more information and worthy campaigning on this topic check out Votes for Expat Brits blog (http://votes-for-expat-brits-blog.com/)