You will find below a sample letter to his/her UK constituency MP from an overseas voter living in another EU member state but concerned by the impact of Brexit on his/her continuing pension and voting rights.
If you are a British citizen living within another EU member state but still retain the right to vote in UK elections and share these concerns, why not use this letter as a model to write to your home constituency MP in the UK?
I write to you as one of your overseas electors having lived in your constituency within the last 15 years so still vote there.
My reason for writing is to express my concern over two aspects of the Government’s recent policy paper “safeguarding the position of EU citizens living in the UK and UK nationals living in the EU”. The first of these relates to pension up-rating. This new policy is of enormous benefit to expatriates and greatly to be welcomed. However it is most unfortunate that it is “subject to reciprocity”.
The Prime Minster, in her Lancaster House speech, said that Brexit “means taking control of our own affairs, as those who voted in their millions to leave the European Union demanded we must. So we will take back control of our laws and our laws will be made in Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.” But “subject to reciprocity” will mean that, as a British state pensioner living e.g. in Germany, France, Spain or elsewhere in the EU, whether or not my British pension is up-rated will be decided in Berlin, Paris, Madrid or where?
Before I retired, I was told that as I had spent time working overseas, I needed to make “additional voluntary contributions” and that, if I did so, I would receive a full state pension. So I did so. Nobody told me that this full pension would be subject to Britain remaining in the European Union and, were we to leave, reciprocal arrangements being agreed with the state where I happened to be living. Is it just to impose such additional conditions after the payments have already been made?
Also in the 17th January speech the PM said: “I recognise how important it is to provide business, the public sector, and everybody with as much certainty as possible as we move through the process. So where we can offer that certainty, we will do so.” So I write to ask you as my MP to make representations to the Government that they should live up to what the PM said then and offer pensioners such as myself the certainty that up-rating of our pensions will be maintained regardless of decisions taken by foreign governments.
The second aspect is that, as a British, and therefore EU, citizen living in another member state, I am entitled to vote here in municipal elections. That is something I always do and it is a right that I value, particularly where it enables me to vote for my local borough’s governing party. So I was disappointed to see that there is no reference to voting rights in the policy paper.
I want to continue to be allowed to vote in such elections here, and I also wish to see EU nationals in the UK maintaining the same right. That would be consistent with the PM’s expression of our future relationship with the EU that she also set out in her speech. May I therefore please also ask you to urge such a policy upon the Government?