1,000 signatures reached
To: The Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Cabinet Office.
EU Referendum - Votes For All
Currently, all British Citizens who have resided overseas for a period of more than 15 years lose their entitlement to vote in all UK elections. We call on HM Government to amend the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (2000) to enable all British Citizens living overseas the right to vote in the forthcoming EU Referendum.
Why is this important?
This is the biggest single political decision the United Kingdom has faced in the past 40 years and it would be morally repugnant to prevent British Citizens currently resident abroad from voting in the in / out referendum, considering the significance of the decision being made.
It is estimated that somewhere in the region of 5.5 million British Citizens currently reside overseas, with nearly 2 million living in the EU. These people move abroad for a variety of reasons, work, family, health or to retire to name but a few. Many have family ties remaining in UK and, contrary to popular opinion, moving overseas does not mean these people have turned their back on the UK. Many continue to take a keen interest in news and political developments back home and despite long-term residence overseas, some continue to be UK taxpayers through occupational pensions, rental of UK properties whilst abroad or from other income derived in the UK. As the law currently stands, once you have resided overseas for more than 15 years, you lose your entitlement to vote in any elections in the UK, whether you are a UK taxpayer or not. We face the situation where many British Citizens are to be denied a say in the long-term future of the UK in relation to the EU and the rest of the world. Their voices should also be heard and rightly so.