Franchise for all British Expats in the EU is not rigging the Referendum!

The consequences of a Brexit for the 2 million or so British citizens living within the rest of the  European Union (EU), as well as the impact on the UK should they be forced to return, remain unclear. However, many will be excluded by the 15-year-rule from voting in the EU referendum although they will also have to live with these consequences, in common with all 16 and 17-year-olds in the UK, tax payers or not.

To change the franchise accordingly is not rigging an historical poll such as the EU referendum, or setting an unhelpful precedent in advance of the Votes for Life Bill, in the case of British citizens living within the rest of the EU.

In a Letter to the Editor and published in The Times of Thursday December 17th, Pamela Somerset writes from Brussels:

“Sir, You advocate that 16 and 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote in the EU referendum (leader, Dec 15), but what about the 2 million or so Britons living in the rest of the EU? Surely it is of great and more immediate importance to them whether Britain stays in the EU or not. Furthermore, a vote to leave the EU could result in these 2 million Britons returning to the UK, overloading the housing market, social services and particularly the NHS, as many of them are elderly.”

Pamela Somerset, Brussels

Letter to Times 17 Dec 2015 001

MPs in the House of Commons have subsequently overturned an attempt by peers in the House of Lords to ensure that 16 and 17-year-olds can vote in the European referendum. This followed warnings from government ministers that changing the franchise just for the EU referendum would lead to claims that the historic poll was being rigged.

Presumably the government also fears being accused by Eurosceptics of rigging the EU referendum, if they changed the franchise to allow all British expats within the EU to vote.

This entry was posted in All EU.Res. Expat Brits in EU.Ref., British Expat franchise not rigging EU Ref., Defeat of 18th Nov Lords Amendment, Discouraging EU Referendum Defeat, EU Ref Question - Lord Lexden 6 July 2015, EU Ref Votes for Life Response, EU Ref: Overseas Electors - Counter Arguments, Harry Shindler Presses PM. and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Franchise for all British Expats in the EU is not rigging the Referendum!

  1. BritSwede says:

    So in clear text British expats living in the EU longer than 15yrs will not be able to vote, but expats living outside the EU within the 15yr rule will be able to vote?!

    • right2vote4xpatbrits says:

      In clear text you are right with your statement (which seems rather illogical to say the least since those British expats living in the EU will be much more directly affected!).


      • paul barker says:

        With various major problems facing the world and the region the only way to address them is collectively, and the UK needs to have its voice in each of them..or it’ll simply float off into irrelevance! It’s been an embarrassing experience for Brits overseas watching the UK fawning for special opt-out privileges; while global issues need everyone’s attention one little relatively rich western country is taking up time and diverting attention to its private issues over Europe.. mind you, if yhat helps shift the cave man isolationist views of some Brits, I suppose it’s useful!

      • Paul Barker says:

        Except of course the Brits working for EU, or EU-funded projects, outside the EU…who are many!

  2. Neil Beever says:

    Britain must leave the EU. It’s a corrupt; smug; undemocratic bureaucracy operating for its own self aggrandisement and for the benefit of the political elite and their taste for chauffeur driven cars and expensive restaurants. Europe will still need our goods and services after a no vote and of course will still want to sell us their BMWs etc. And Brits living in Europe – don’t worry. Spain and Portugal etc still need the billions of pounds we inject into their economies – indeed; some of their economies would suffer serious problems without us. But because of the unjust 15 year rule I am unable to vote. Outrageous !!!!!!!!

  3. Phil Tilson says:

    It seems highly unlikely that anyone would be obliged to return to the UK by their European hosts. All countries of the EU allow settlement by non-EU citizens, within certain parameters. No doubt the bureaucrats would have a field day dreaming up new regulations and conditions, but with the signing of a few dozen more forms, I am confident everyone would simply be able to stay where they were!

  4. Irene Davis says:

    What I want to know is what effect an exit from the EU will mean for those of us living abroad within the EU

  5. Michael strawson says:

    Got to the point of just being sick hearing the pontificating by Westminster MPs on this issue . Patent British Bull citizens do not matter – there’s nothing to discuss in a democracy ‘re representation / voting rights . Frankly I won’t have a vote and UK will go down the tube -nowt to do with me .!!

  6. brian1932 says:

    It is a fond hope perhaps but – A Votes-for-Life Bill will be introduced as declared in the Manifesto in the New Year. If perchance the Government included a clause to introduce voting at 16! After all Lord Foulkes said for the Government that such an amendment was inappropriate for the Referendum Bill – Perhaps it is appropriate for a Votes-for-Life Bill! Then the following would probably happen. The LibDems would vote for the Bill. With a 16 year vote the SNP could hardly be against it. And the Labour Party would surely have to vote for it. This Bill could sail through. Then if it came to the Royal Assent before the Referendum date is announced we, glory be, all have a vote in the Referendum from 16 to eternity or as long as we are alive.
    Let us pray for such a miracle!

  7. Dick Smith says:

    But the government already changed the franchise to include Gibraltarians and Peers of the Realm wherever they live in the world.

    • Richard Brown says:

      Exactly! Citizens of the Irish Republic and Commonwealth Countries living in Gibraltar have been given the vote, along with the House of Lords. Lord Hamilton (Con) said: “I smell a rat. It seems to me that this is once again trying to slew the whole playing field”. How insulting is it that an Old Etonian thinks that my democratic rights smell like a rat? To an insult to injury he is quite happy for his franchise to be restored for this vote but not mine. His vote is not slewing the playing field but mine is. Why is that?

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