We think that there should be no time limit set on the rights of British expatriates to vote from abroad.
Since the mid-1980s when voting rights were first extended to British expats but only initially for up to 5 years non-resident in the UK, this limit has been subsequently extended to 20 years before being reduced to the current 15-year-limit, according to the political party in government at the time.
The British government has responded to lobbying efforts by stating that the right to vote is not necessarily related to whether or not a British national pays taxes in the UK, since a number of foreign nationals resident in the UK and paying taxes also cannot vote in UK elections, (although some Commonwealth and Irish citizens resident in the UK can vote for historical reasons).
In the European Court of Human Rights the British government, which was instrumental in establishing this Court in the aftermath of WWII, is also arguing in the Harry Shindler case that his right to vote does not yet form part of the European electoral heritage.
We think, therefore, that removing any time limit on British expatriates voting from abroad and treating them in the same way as other British nationals resident in the UK, would be the best way of avoiding further specific political influence over their basic right to vote in the future.