Thursday, 11 May 2017

15-Year Rule to Still Apply in the UK General Election in June

15-Year Rule to Still Apply in the UK General Election in June
British voters will still not be allowed to
vote if they have been out of the country
for over 15 years

The controversial law stating British expats aren’t legally allowed to vote in General Elections and national referendums if they have been overseas for over 15 years will still be in place and applicable during the June 8 snap election.

There has been several times when the law was due to be scrapped, most recently for the 2015 general election, and then again during the EU referendum of last year that saw Britain vote to leave the EU.

Both of these occasions saw the issue of giving British citizens back their full democratic rights was slowly pushed off of the table. Last Friday it was confirmed by the British Cabinet Office confirmed that there isn’t going to be enough time to change the law before the election in June.

The result is that over one million British people living overseas are going to be denied the chance to cast their vote in the upcoming election; causing Dave Spokes – a founding member of the Expat Citizens Rights in the EU support group – to express how disappointed the inaction of the Conservative government left him.

He had the following to say on the matter; “The people most affected by the EU referendum were not allowed to vote in it, simply because they exercised their right to live in another EU country.”

Thousands of people have signed an online petition calling for expats to be given the right to vote following the government’s confirmation that the law would not be changed.

The campaign was set up by Chris Madsen – a resident of France – in the hopes of pressuring the Conservative government into pushing back the date of the general election to make time to change the law, or push the administration to allow long-term expats to vote through.

Masden set up the petition on, in which he wrote that it was wrong for the UK to disenfranchise their own citizens like this at such a time, especially given that they announced plans to abolish the 15-year rule.

Even though it’s unknown how long-term expats would vote in the general election, it appears to that many of them would likely be against the Brexit. They would most likely vote for the parties that aim to reverse the Brexit if they would win the election.