June Wayland, a British citizen resident outside the UK now for ten years, has recently commented via this blog on the government’s proposed “Votes for Life” Bill and is suspicious as to why it was delayed until after the EU Referendum. She also resents the fact that she will lose her right to vote in five years time and “would be considered [by this fiasco of administration] no longer a British migrant! Now, where would I have gone?”
“I still have a voice, having been a British migrant for ten years (I hate the word ex-pat when everyone else is called an immigrant). However, I resent the fact that after 15 years, I would be considered no longer a British migrant! Now, where would I have gone?
I also have no doubt that the failure to table the Votes for Life Bill prior to the referendum was deliberate in order to help the Brexit side win.” Since then, many events have occurred that poses questions whether the process was carried out in the correct manner.
It’s no secret that each party that has been in power, works for itself and its members and not us, the general public. I sincerely hope that in my lifetime, improvements are made to remedy this fiasco of administration and for once, think of the people.
I refer also to the Brexit fiasco which will benefit nobody except the ones in power.”
I have fallen foul of this rule and do hope that, when the new rule comes to pass, I do not have to register in the last place of registration. At that time I was living in rented accommodation in London, but I have no links whatsoever to London, all my family – and my origins – being in Scotland.
Why the delay? Probably because most ex-pats were angered by the referendum last year, and May knows they would not support her in an election. And surprise surprise – WE’RE HAVING AN ELECTION!!! You can have your vote after that, when it’s too late. Democracy (not) in action.
Votes for life – the basic foundation blocks of a democracy – would NOT have made any difference if a qualification is residency ( like Referendums – at least in Scotland where it’s Westminster who dictated that!!) I am a Non Convict disenfranchised UK Citizen.
Ah but the qualification proposed for votes for life is PAST residency. Nothing like enough but it would have re-enfranchised around 2 million of us (about half within the EU and half outside it), who would almost certainly have swung the result the other way.
Look at http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN05923
whence the full report can be downloaded.
See the policy paper from October 2016 ” A democracy that works for everyone:British citizens overseas” at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/558280/overseas_electors_policy_statement.pdf
1st problem: “7. The Government intends to enfranchise any British citizen overseas who was previously resident or registered to vote in the UK.” – what about those British citizens overseas who were never previously resident nor registered to vote in the UK, born abroad, etc?
2nd problem: “17.As now, overseas electors will be entitled to register in respect of just one UK address, and the ERO will need to be satisfied of the applicant’s connection with that address. This connection can be one of previous registration or residence.” – again, what if one is a British citizen abroad but has NO such address? I suppose they will answer “tough”?
In general, this is badly and only partly thought out. It still doesn’t propose to re-enfranchise all UK citizens living abroad for over 15 years – it leaves out those who have never lived in the UK (although they may be able to first register in some constituency or other under a measure that I suppose may still exist). Also the checks proposed are all about checking that one was once upon a time registered to vote in the UK. I think though that it leaves out those who have never been able to register in a UK constituency because they may have been born abroad and lived abroad until they were over 18 years old. Also, why all this emphasis on where one may have been registered before – fine for those who were, but why not give a choice of where to register to ALL other UK citizens, based on birth, adoption, naturalisation etc papers and passports for those who have them?
This is NOT votes for all UK citizens!!
Far better to have “overseas constituencies”.
They welcome comments:
30.The Government welcomes feedback from any interested party on these proposals. Comments on the proposed policy described in this document can be sent to email@example.com.”
I have yet to find the time to draft a coherent response.