If there is a referendum on whether the UK should leave the EU, then surely the British living in Europe should be able to vote?
A Letter of Petition (see below) to the European Parliament has , therefore, been initiated by the British Community Committee (BCC) of France ( www.britishinfrance.com), the UK’s eighth-largest expat community and the second- largest (after Spain) in a non-English speaking host country. The BCC has also provided the campaigning website www.votes-for-expat-brits.com which challenges the current 15-year-limit on our voting rights, as a public service to all British expats worldwide.
“As Chairman of the British Community Committee of France, a “not for profit” association registered in France under the French law of 1 July 1901, whose membership comprises the voluntary associations in France organised by and for the benefit of the British Community in France, I am instructed by a resolution passed unanimously at the Committee’s quarterly meeting held on 29th January 2013, to petition the European Parliament as follows :
That all citizens of the European Union residing in the European Union but in a different Member State from that of their nationality, should have the right under European Union Law to vote in any referendum organized in the Member State of which they are nationals, concerning that Member State continuing or discontinuing its membership of the European Union or changing the terms of continuing membership, regardless of the period of residence of such citizens outside their Member State of origin, in view of the impact of the decision in question on their personal lives. “
The current 15-year-limit on the right to vote of British citizens resident abroad is the issue. If you agree that this is undemocratic for British citizens resident in the European Union (EU) in the case of a specific referendum on whether the UK should leave, we would appreciate you showing your support by adding your vote here in our on-line poll.
It is significant that Jacqui Cotterill, a British expat living in Spain who has not been able to vote in the UK for 8 years, has already made a speech to the European Parliament in February (as part of a day’s hearing called “Making the most of EU Citizenship”) calling for British expats to get full voting rights.