Long stay Britons in EU finally get a lifetime vote

Published:  20 Dec at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, UK, Euro, England
UK long-stay expats overseas are to finally be granted the right to vote after a 15 year absence.

Howls of 'too little, too late' and snarls of 'political manipulation' are expected from long-stay British expats awaiting their post-Brexit fates all across Europe. Ever since the referendum result was announced, the hated 15-year disenfranchisement rule has been a cause for fury as it stopped those who would be most affected by Brexit from getting their voices heard. The blatant political manipulation of the decision to now allow them to vote for the rest of their lives won’t be lost on those whose chosen lifestyles are about to be wrecked.

Over the past three years, UK expats’ inability to have a say in their own futures has been followed by what seemed to be a total lack of concern on the part of British politicians and half-hearted attempts by diplomatic staff to quieten expat anger. Traditionally, older voters whether expat or resident have been seen as fodder for the Conservative Party but, given the millions of British expats who supported Remain in 2016 but were unable to vote, a backlash against Johnson's government might well be the result in future elections.

It seems the Johnson government has now turned its attention to home-based voters as, during the Queen's Speech, a scheme for compulsory photo IDs at polling stations is drawing accusations of suppressing young peoples’ votes as well as those of the disadvantaged. According to the Electoral Reform Society, tens of thousands of formerly legitimate voters will be left without a voice in future elections. The requirement may also spell the end of proxy voting, should photo IDs of expats rather than their proxies be required.
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