Wasted opportunity from 5 million Britons Abroad

This article below in The Economist doesn’t adhere to some popular prejudices about Britons abroad :

“Some 5m Britons live abroad. The country could do far more to exploit its high-flying expats.”

The Economist, August 9th 2014: The British diaspora – And don’t come back.

With the current British government struggling to re-balance the economy through a major increase in exports and talking about “winning the global economic race”, The Economist sees opportunity (which the country is currently squandering) from a “different breed of emigrant….now on the march: the ambitious graduate bound for North America or Asia.”

“Britain’s many expats could strengthen its trading links, channel investment into its economy and generally burnish the national brand. But Britain’s government seems to have “no coherent strategy” for engaging with them, says Alan Gamlen of the Oxford Diasporas Programme, a research unit at Oxford University.”

“Of 193 UN member states, 110 have formal programmes to build links with citizens abroad. Britain is not one of them. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s database of Britons abroad is patchy.”

Reflecting this national lack of interest is the electoral roll – a key database – on which the Briton abroad is very poorly represented, with historically only some 20,000 – 30,000 out of the 5 million strong British diaspora ever registered to vote.

However, one major discouragement from actually registering to vote has now been removed with the introduction of a much more convenient on-line registration system, in time for the 2015 general election. You are, therefore, encouraged to register on-line to vote here. Surely the next step for further dismantling of the “And don’t come back” message and to demonstrate genuine political interest in the Briton abroad should now be the removal of the current 15-year-limit on his or her national voting rights ?

We’d appreciate you demonstrating your interest in removing this 15-year-limit by adding your vote here in support of our campaign.

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This entry was posted in +5 million British Expats Abroad, Anomaly of Voteless Expat Brits in EU, Benefits of Internet Voting, Diaspora is National Resource, Electoral Commission, Expat Vote in 2015, Expat Voters Difficult to Target, Lord Lexden: Reasons to Remove 15 yr Limit, Low Turnout - Not No Vote, Outdated Objections to Voters Overseas, Wasted 5m Expat Opportunity and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Wasted opportunity from 5 million Britons Abroad

  1. Michael Cushing says:

    Having watched woman at work WWI on TV it transgressed from the Westminster Establishment not having a clue about War management , needing well to do ‘ladies’ forming WPC’s groups, land girls, WVS groups etc to which the ‘management’ then hastily adopted , only to then explain in 1918 IT WAS ONLY FOR THE DURATION !. This did leed into Womans Voting rights – householders only at first , ! It seems to me today that Westminster has not changed in a 100 years and that the Westminster Establishment is about power over people NOTHING ELSE . Rome finally fell and I fear UK will go the same way UNLESS THERE ARE DRAMATIC CHANGES . Jane D’s comments on Westminster hating expats is an understatement . UK IS CURRENTLY NOT A DEMOCRACY DISENFRANCHISING ITS CITIZENS .

  2. Jane Davies says:

    I still have the right to vote for another seven years but all the while ballot papers are sent snail mail it is a right I am denied. I filled out the electoral registration form online last February for the May election but my ballot papers arrived two days before the deadline for voting. It takes 10 days to return by snail to the UK from Canada so I could not vote. I sent them back with a ‘to the point’ comment about this, well worth the $2.50 stamp to vent my frustration. Until we expats can vote online many of us in far away countries are having our rights denied. And don’t even get me started on the frozen state pension scandal which discriminates against those expats who because of their location get no annual indexing. The UK governments really hates expats and that’s a fact, and many MP’s are totally ignorant and think, wrongly, that we do not pay UK taxes so we should have no rights.

  3. Michael Cushing says:

    I just do not understand WHY WESTMINSTER ESTABLISHMENT is spending ( wasting ) time and money on this issue . The Political Parties, elections Referendums Act 2000 under Miscellaneous page 141 ammend 20 years to 15 years – Representation of the Peoples Acts 1985 / 89 . SO SO SIMPLE TO ACT DEMOCRATICALY and leave UK Citizens to decide to register to vote or no ;ITS NOT FOR WESTMINSTER TO DECIDE . Last week just received a reply letter from THE CABINET OFFICE WESTMINSTER QUOTE ” The Government is NOT MINDED to change the 15 year rule ” for overseas UK Citizens . So why has the ” Electoral Commission and the like been wasting time and money ? As far as i’m concerned I am EXILED BY THE WESTMINSTER ESTABLISHMENT

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