The Conservative government’s wafer-thin majority in the Commons allows its “Eurosceptic tail to wag the dog” where the current EU Referendum Bill is concerned, and is not encouraging for those hoping to include the expatriate Votes for Life Bill within the associated franchise because:
- Eurosceptic MPs are likely to resist, assuming EU-resident British expatriates are more likely to favour staying in the EU.
- The opposition Labour party has traditionally resisted removing the 15-year-limit on overseas voting rights.
“Analysis of the vote, which saw the government defeated by a majority of 27, showed that there were 37 Conservative rebels.”
“They included five former Cabinet ministers: Liam Fox, John Redwood, Owen Paterson, Cheryl Gillan, and David Jones, and the chairman of the influential backbench 1922 Committee of Tory MPs, Graham Brady.”