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.”
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.