This latest comment just received on our voting rights (sign-up) poll sums up the concerns of a lot of expat Brits, deprived of their right to vote and to make a difference in the recent EU Referendum:
Sean Sullivan – 4 hours ago
Because of the systematic de-industrialisation of the UK throughout my adult life I have found it necessary to be living and working abroad since the early 90s. I’m rapidly approaching the end of my useful working life without any significant pension to fall back on.
My exit plan had been to see out my later years in a much more affordable EU and take short contract jobs under the freedom of movement in the EU. Thanks to Brexit my plans have been blown sky high, and our future looks very bleak indeed!
We are now hoping for Parliament to end this madness. Sadly, as I’m in Qatar, I am not in a position to start applying for citizenship of one of the remaining EU countries.
I was incensed that I was deprived of my vote in the referendum, only a 600,000 vote swing would have secured our continued membership, a near certainty if expats were allowed to vote?
Great initiative! I’ve signed it. Thank you!
Hi! I have signed but in turn would ask for your support for my petition, running on similar concerns…
I’ve just signed your petition.
Signed and delivered. Thanks for your supporr!
Why don’t you post your comment on my petition? It’ll get a bit more visibility and it might help me to convince a couple more people to sign.
I am a British Citizen without a vote.
My childhood, education and early working life was spent in the UK, but I am now resident overseas.
Though no doubt hugely less intelligent than our politicians, I was lucky enough, through my father’s hard work and sacrifice, to enjoy an education second to none, no inferior to Mr Cameron’s or Mr Johnson’s. My trajectory in Life though has been somewhat different as I’ve lived and run a business helping local people survive in a depressed area in Portugal for the last 30 years.
I started my life here the year Portugal entered the EU by buying a piece of land and building with my own hands a small hotel. I have lived and paid taxes here ever since.
I have in total lived the European dream.
I like to think that I know more about the pros and cons of Europe than the majority of my countrymen – but in this referendum I wasn’t even given the chance to have my voice heard, to register my opinion.
Now my “country” has voted by a slim majority to leave the EU after a campaign riddled with lies that pandered to people’s gullibility and xenophobia.
What to say?
Most of all, “Thanks”.
Yes, I would like to give my thanks to those that voted in the ’70’s for having given my generation that freedom to live and work abroad with such ease, those far-sighted and high-minded people who, living in the ashes of the Empire and the 2nd WW, saw the bigger picture and gave me personally such freedom – and the opportunity to live here for the last 30 years, the 30 years that I have used to make a small part of the world a better place.
What the future holds? Of course no-one knows, but one thing that is patently clear is that the opportunity that was given to us will not be extended to a future generation.
Of course the EU is in need of reform, and I hope it sees that now more clearly and will spruce up its act, but the same can be said of any large endeavour – it will always be imperfect when seen from the grass roots.
But what an achievement! The largest endeavour of its kind anywhere EVER and, despite the doom-mongers, still fulfilling its remit of keeping this war-prone continent from descending once again into another maelstrom such as my father lived through twice, and from which my Uncle never returned – oh, and of course that’s another thing, thanks to the EU itself too, for having saved myself or my brother, the first generation in my family’s history, from having to go and fight on the continent. Instead of travelling for War I travelled for Peace.
I am proud of being British, proud of Britain’s empathy, her traditions, her history, her morals and her contribution through the ages towards the betterment of mankind – but I am not proud at this time of the 52% of my fellow Britons who voted.
Why? Not just because they voted to leave – everyone’s entitled to their opinion – but far, far too many of them voted with no coherent thought of the likely outcome should a Leave vote be successful, and for a huge number this was a vote without any understanding of the facts, just a “gut-feeling” that they should vote “Out”. For far too many this vote was seen as a vote against the political establishment as a whole, not a vote about leaving the EU.
It is not surprising really, following a media campaign that has been waged for years against the EU by venal politicians and a Media industry that sustains itself by peddling any old tripe – and a huge organisation such as the EU is a wonderful target to fill empty pages, for the simple fact that it never hits back and can fulfil any bogey-man image that’s needed.
But the people I hold most in contempt at present are the politicians from the two major parties who have shown such little backbone and leadership recently.
They’re meant to have the well-being of the UK as their first priority, and to be the representatives of the people, to be informed and lead – not be led by an uninformed populace that has been hoodwinked by proven lies.
Apart from anything else this referendum is meant to be advisory only – and Farage’s statements before he knew that Leave was the majority vote show that there was no way he viewed it as a binding decision for the Government!
I asked above, but here I ask again, “What does the future hold exactly?”. Are we likely to “Get our country back”?
Hell, no, not the United Kingdom anyway; Little England maybe once Scotland and Northern Ireland leave, but also a divided, poorer and more bitter Little England, a xenophobic Little England, an England that is historically and geographically better represented by the England of Edward 1st than by the Britain of Elizabeth 2nd. You just have to note that Race Hate Crimes have risen by 500% in the last week to appreciate that fact.
Instead of the beacon for the world of an engaged and inclusive country, a country that millions have viewed around the world as an ideal to attain to, we have been shown to be a vacuous and mean-minded little country, (and that has been reflected immediately by the fall in sterling), an inward-looking Little England – and our leaving will prove to be a poorer Europe too, a Europe where we have no say, a Europe that will increasingly dictate to us should we wish to trade with it – in fact the Europe that the media and Leave frightened us with … it wasn’t there before, (in fact it was more democratic than the UK), but should we leave it sure will be!
I despair and have started the process of becoming a fully-fledged Portuguese Citizen instead of a British one with residency overseas; what good did the latter do me or my family recently? Despite the promises of our politicians, on a matter of such importance I wasn’t even allowed to vote …
Thank you Frank!
No problem. I’ve just signed your petition too, but judging from the reply yesterday to the 4.1 million petition … I post what I can find about this disgraceful situation on my Facebook page. If you want to share any of it please feel free.
Hello Sean. I fully agree with you. It is disgraceful. French and Spanish and other European expats for example can all vote. Only the Danes are worse off than us. It is shocking that Britain is limiting the life options of its citizens. It is a great way to alienate us. We represent the country abroad after all.
I have lived and worked in Germany since 1975 and was always adamant about the fact that it should, as a matter of principle, not be necessary to change my nationality at any time. As I have only been allowed to vote in german local elections my democratic rights have always been unfairly restricted.
I also feel that the Brexit referendum has allowed those who have a lot less appreciation of Europe to take a populist decision which affects myself and others. I feel a bitter sense of betrayal.
I will continue to search the web and add my name to appropriate petitions!
I too am a UK citizen living in the EU benefitting from the freedom of movement rules. I resent having my future decided by politicians in Westminster for whom I was denied a basic democratic right. It is obvious that there has been a colossal protest vote against current UK government policy in general which has lead directly to an increasing gulf between haves and have nots. For years the government has been blaming the “foreigners” in Brussels for all UK ills. There has also been a total absence of informed debate on Europe leaving millions of ordinary voters at the mercy of the gutter press and careerist politicians. The ‘leave’ vote is delusional in imagining that it will improve life for the vast majority of people. Instead it will destroy a successful attempt to stop right wing popularity and nationalist forces from raring Europe apart. A very short sighted vote. I understand why but it does not display common sense. There is now no reason not to hold another referendum
If you are a British expat and you have lived abroad for 14 years you can vote, if you have lived abroad 16 years you cannot vote. Can someone please explain this to me. Perhaps this is a new fangled way of putting an upper age limit on voting. I call it ageism! Please sign up for my petition on change.org. It’s called pleaseletmevote.
I looked and can’t find it? If you can give me an accurate link, you will have my signature.
Many thanks Sean. Here’s the link again.