MP pushing Bill to allow expats to vote once more

Published:  3 Dec at 11 AM
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Conservative MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown is to make one final push to abolish the 15-year voting rule imposed on British expats before the 2015 general election.

The rule prevents UK nationals abroad from voting in elections if they have resided overseas for more than 15 years.

Clifton-Brown is to make a speech seeking to persuade MPs that it is time to allow Brits living overseas the right to vote once more. Under the Ten Minute Rule, which allows MPs to request the leave of the house to introduce a Bill, he will ask that a Bill is introduced to enable British nationals living abroad for over 15 years to vote in the elections.

The MP expects that the Liberal Democrats and Labour will oppose the movement, as they have done with all previous attempts to scrap the 15-year rule. But he said that now was the time to wrong this right (which means around one million Brits out of an estimated 5.5 million living overseas are not allowed to vote) but admitted that it was tough to get such a controversial Bill passed.

Clifton-Brown admitted that, in reality, it was probably unlikely the Bill would go through. He explained that it would be passed if the government adopted it, but as the Conservative Party were in a coalition with the Libs, it was very unlikely. He added, however, that he would be “tickled pink” should it happen.
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