Scots expat starts petition for direct expat representation in parliament

Published:  30 Apr at 6 PM
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A Scottish expat at present living in the Andalusian city of Almeria is calling for Britons living overseas to be represented by their own Members of Parliament.

Alistair Stewart, now teaching at a local school, is a former press officer for the Scottish Parliament who’s fully aware that without representation there’s no chance of consideration. He told the local English newspaper Olive Press the motivation behind his call for dedicated MPs for expats was a ‘profound sense of powerlessness’ after the results of the Brexit referendum were announced. Brexit, he told reporters, is the perfect illustration of how important dedicated representation is when things go badly wrong.

At the present time, the only point of contact available to British expats living in Europe are the constituent MPs in areas where expats last lived before leaving the home country. On the Costa del Sol alone there are hundreds of thousands of Brit expatriates living, working and retiring in Spain after having being constituents of around 650 different UK areas. According to Stewart, even if all UK expats joined together, there’s no single dedicated MP to deal with complaints, leaving 650 different lawmakers all wasting their time on exactly the same 650 issues.

Stewart splits his time between his home town of Edinburgh, Spain and Macedonia, dependent on school terms, and strongly believes every foreign country should have a British Member of Parliament whose brief is to look after expat concerns. In general, he says, expat concerns and issues across the world are similar, but there’s no one point of representation for those needing it. He adds that France, Germany and Macedonia already have MPs representing resident expats, saying there’s no logical reason why the UK couldn’t adopt the same system.

To further his logical demands, Stewart has started an online petition urging government consideration of the need for direct expat representation. At the present moment, 1,145 people have signed, but it needs 100,000 signatures to trigger a parliamentary debate on the issue and is unlikely to achieve its aim.
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