Harry Shindler and other impacted EU-resident British expatriate citizens who are currently excluded by the 15-year-rule from voting in UK general elections, are quite rightly concerned (see the sample below of recent comments received) at not being able to vote in the Referendum on Britain’s continuing membership of the European Union (EU).
They have good reason to protest not least because the qualifying franchise contained in the European Union(Referendum) Bill as first published for debate (click on link below) has already been extended beyond that of a General Election to include:
- Clause 2 (b): Peers normally disqualified from voting at parliamentary elections.
- Clause 2 (c): Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar and normally only qualified to vote in European Parliamentary elections.
See below a sample of our latest comments received:
Rod – 28th May
The UK government could be ‘shooting themselves in the foot’, just imagine if 2 million ex-pats descended on the UK burdening the NHS with all our various ailments, claiming benefits, etc. etc.
Seriously though, as a loyal English subject I feel totally let down by Cameron and his cohorts, we should have the right to vote in the EU referendum.
Currently in Portugal.
Valerie Stacey – 28th May
I am a British national married to a Spaniard and have lived in Madrid for over 30 years, although I’m in close touch with the UK and go back several times a year. I was disenfranchised years ago in Britian, and am unable to vote in general and regional elections in Spain precisely because my nationality is British, not Spanish. There is no justification whatever for denying long-term British residents in other EU countries the right to vote in a referendum whose outcome will affect us directly – and possibly negatively. How is it possible that a Briton who has lived, say, for 10 years in Canada or New Zealand is given the chance to have their say on Britain’s future relationship with Europe but not those of us who actually live in the EU?
David H. – 28th May
I live in Germany. As others have mentioned, as a Brit I’m not allowed to vote in German national elections, and due to having lived here now for 25 years, it seems I have no say in an election that is being trumpeted as ultimately sealing the fate of Britain’s (and consequently my) membership of the EU. This is just wrong.
Alexander Maisner – 28th May
Have been living in Germany for almost 40 years. Incensed that I cannot vote in the referendum. Have been incensed for years that I cannot vote in either UK or German national elections. Let’s hope the government finally fulfills its pledge. See my letter to the FT of 28 May 2015.
Verity Peterson – 27th May