The purpose of the briefing note below by CReAM (Centre for Research & Analysis of Migration), is to inform the UK’s national discussion about immigration. Immigration is a key issue not only for British citizens in the UK but also concerns British expatriate citizens resident within the European Union, in the current debate on continuing UK membership.
The 7.5% ( 4.7 million) of the identified expatriate British population has its largest concentrations in order of size in Australia, the US and Canada. Within the EU the largest stocks are found in Spain (398,000) and France (154,000). All these countries grant full voting rights to their citizens living abroad, now that the Superior Court of Justice in Ontario, dated 2nd May, 2014 has eliminated the 5-year-limit on Canadian electors residing abroad.
With the Migration Fact Sheet below also suggesting that “UK emigrants tend to be younger and more educated compared to the population in the UK when they left”, why does the UK continue to persist in discriminating against its own expatriate citizens by removing their right to vote in national elections or referendums after 15 years abroad?
Migration-FactSheet What do we know about Immigration: Informing the debate.
Page 23 of Chapter 10 (Migration to and from the UK- the numbers) addresses UK citizens living abroad:
“According to World Bank estimates, UK citizens living abroad represent 7.5% of the UK population. For 2010 the World Bank estimated the number of UK nationals living abroad to be 4.7 million.
The three countries with the largest numbers of UK nationals are in order Australia, US and Canada.
Within the EU, the countries with the largest stocks of UK citizens are Spain, with 398,000 individuals, and France, with 154,000 individuals.
Many of the UK nationals moving abroad have much in common with immigrants to the UK. Whilst retirement migration has grown, data from the Intentional Passenger Survey suggest that UK emigrants tend to be younger and more educated compared to the population in the UK when they left.
In the last decade, the number of UK nationals leaving the UK net of returnees was around 75,000 per year. This constitutes around one fourth of the 280,000 non-UK citizens entering the UK every year over the same time period.”