Jane Golding of our Votes for Expat Brits campaign team has prepared the important message below for all friends of the campaign today to make a last push re. the 2nd reading this week of The Overseas Voters (15 Year Rule) Bill.
With the upcoming general election in May and the Electoral Commission’s latest overseas voter registration figures showing that the steady 3000 monthly registrations rate in the last quarter of 2014 has now sharply increased in 2015 to 9414 in January and 15391 in February, this last push on The Overseas Voters (15 Year Rule) Bill can add to the growing pressure on the main political parties to officially declare where they stand on the issue of the 15-year-rule for overseas voters.
If you have not already done so (unless excluded by the 15-year-rule) there is still time to conveniently register on-line to vote here on https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
The Overseas Voters (15 Year Rule) Bill – Bill to grant British citizens the right to vote in perpetuity
The Overseas Voters (15 Year Rule) Bill, a bill to scrap the 15 year limit on overseas voting presented by Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP, will have its second reading this Friday 6 March 2015. This represents a unique opportunity to overturn the 15 year rule, perhaps even before the 2015 General Election, and certainly before any UK EU referendum takes place.
The debate on Friday can be followed here:
New Europeans have prepared a briefing on the bill, which they are sending out to MPs this week and which is linked to below for further background information.
Supporters of the campaign to repeal the 15 year rule are asked to write to (ex)MPs or to Party HQs, to encourage them to attend the House on Friday for the 2nd reading and to vote in favour of the bill (the following is merely a suggested text):
“On 2 December 2014, a ten minute bill to scrap the 15 year limit on overseas voting and to grant British citizens the right to vote in perpetuity, was presented to the House of Commons by Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and unanimously accepted. The bill will have its second reading this Friday 6 March 2015. The current 15 year rule, which automatically disqualifies UK overseas citizens from voting in national elections after 15 years, is unfair, arbitrary and not in keeping with the democratic traditions of the UK. It affects British overseas citizens who have lived out of the UK for 15 years or more, including expat professionals with international careers, second generation expats, many of whom will come of age while resident abroad without the right to vote anywhere in national elections, as well as expat pensioners. Please attend the second reading on 6 March 2015 and support the bill and send a positive message to UK overseas citizens that their contribution to British society, is valued.”