Survey shows massive expat majority in support of Stay campaign

Published:  27 Apr at 6 PM
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British expats able to vote in the upcoming Brexit referendum are overwhelmingly in favour of staying as part of the European Union.

Global expat network Angloinfo’s survey results released earlier this week showed that almost three quarters of respondents intended to vote to stay. Just 20 per cent are in favour of leaving the EU, and seven per cent are still undecided as to how they will vote

The study reached out to over 2,800 of Angloinfo’s user base of expats living in many countries across the world. Of those who were in favour of a stay vote, 84 per cent cited the positive economic effects of EU membership as their main reason. A majority of 73 per cent of the group felt the UK will still need to comply with a raft of rules to trade successfully within the EU marketplace, but 75 per cent believe Britain’s national security will be enhanced by its membership of the EU.

Those respondents in favour of a Brexit felt that the UK would be better off without the present state of endless interference from Brussels bureaucrats. Even taking into account President Obama’s recent statement that an independent UK would be ‘back of the queue’ in the trade deal lines, 71 percent of the minority who back Brexit believe better relationships can be had with other economies.

The results of the survey show that living overseas permanently has led to a toughening of views on both sides of the Brexit fence. Most concerns focus on pension and healthcare provision, potential visa and residency problems and income reductions if sterling tanks after the vote. The British diaspora isn’t a new phenomenon, with UK expats living in 41 countries worldwide following the trend set by British adventurers’ wanderlust across the centuries.

Given the strength of feeling demonstrated by the survey, it’s now being touted in the media that expat votes could be the key to Britain’s remaining in the EU. Registrations by eligible overseas voters have shown a significant increase over the last several weeks, with media polls suggesting the contest will be too close to call. Even if the High Court rules against a change in the 15-year disenfranchisements law, overseas votes could prove crucial.
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