LibDem leader Farron calls for MPs for Brit expats in Europe

Published:  25 May at 6 PM
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The leader of the Liberal Democrat political party is urging increased parliamentary representation for the 1.2 million British expatriates living in EU member states.

LibDem leader Tim Farron is suggesting new constituencies with their own members of parliament should be drawn up in order to represent British expat communities across Europe. In a recent speech he stated his party recognised the total unfairness of a system which disallows British citizens from voting for their own representatives in parliament.

Farron is accusing the Tory Party of breaking its word following the 2015 election manifesto’s promise that expats who’d lived overseas for more than 15 years would be allowed back onto the UK voters’ register. During his speech he castigated the Tories for not keeping their promise and refusing to allow those with most to lose to vote in the Brexit referendum. In addition, he said, they made the promise again early this year, but failed to implement it in time for the upcoming general election.

Farron seems especially concerned about the plight of Britons living on Gibraltar, saying that in the referendum 96 per cent voted Remain but their voices were unheard. In Theresa May’s letter triggering Article 50, Gibraltar didn’t even merit a mention. Since then, the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has stated the Rock must leave the EU even although it’s connected to the Spanish mainland.

Speaking last week, Farron said in the event the LibDems gained power or were part of a coalition, voters would be given the chance of voting in another referendum setting out the UK/EU final deal. Even if Brexit goes ahead, he added, the 20,000 voters on Gibraltar should have their own elected MP in the British parliament. In addition, MPs should be elected to represent expats in France, Spain, Germany, the USA, Australia and several other countries worldwide.
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