Campaigners urge UK expats to vote in EU elections

Published:  21 Feb at 6 PM
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Less than three months from now, Britons will vote in the European Parliament elections, with the 5.5 million British expats living overseas urged to register and make their views known.

At present, a tiny minority of overseas British citizens are registered to vote, according to the UK’s Electoral Commission, which has launched an online social media campaign to encourage more to sign up. It’s hoped that next Wednesday’s overseas registration day will result in at lest 25,000 downloads of the registration forms available at

Heading up the campaign is Samantha Mills, who says that many Brits living overseas may not be aware that they are able to vote in the upcoming EU elections as well as in UK referendums and general elections. According to chair of Conservative Abroad Heather Harper, it’s a known fact that expats barred from important ballots may not register out of frustration, but the more expats who register, the more chance there is of a change in the law.

Interestingly, Viviane Redin, the European Union Justice Commissioner, recently commented that she sees the UK’s denial of the right to vote for the significant number of expats who emigrated more than 15 years ago as an unjust punishment for preferring to leave the country and live overseas. The frozen pensions scandal is also attracting EU condemnation, although the British government and its intractable pensions guru Ian Duncan Smith are standing firm at present.
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