Longterm British expats still angry over losing their rights to vote

Published:  29 Jun at 6 PM
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How are long-term British expats feeling now they’re still not allowed the vote?

British expats scattered across the modern world have been fighting long-term for their rights to vote after they’ve lived overseas for more than 15 years, but in spite of occasional governmental comments nothing has been done. One of the scandals of the Brexit poll was that those likely to be worst affected by the result were those unable to vote, with many long-stayers convinced the result would have been different should the government have allowed their participation.

Britain is one of the very few world countries which denies voting rights to long-stay expats, in spite of several attempts by sympathetic politicians as well as involved expats to change the rule. It’s now obvious that the system is broken, as will be many expat lives following January 1 next year. Many UK expatriates are unaware that exceptions to this rule apply to, for example, civil servants, members of the military and employees of the British Council overseas, but not to expat English teachers at prestigious private schools, nor to those working in the medical sector.

It’s also perhaps not well-known that expat British pensioners make up almost 10 per cent of the total of all foreign-based Brits over pensionable age and, should they have been living in the home country, might well have overburdened the NHS during its response to the coronavirus pandemic. No matter what the law says, its sheer unfairness is likely to result in the denial of rights to a huge number of elderly UK citizens who’ve made a reasonable lifestyle decision and are now left out in the cold, no matter the ambient temperatures in their chosen locations.
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