|Published:||9 Apr at 6 PM|
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With a possible second Brexit referendum in the offing, a new campaign for votes for all is ramping up.
The newly formed ‘Let Us Vote’ campaign is intensifying the call for all British expats living overseas as well as all citizens resident in the UK to be free to vote in general elections and, most importantly, in referendums. At present, European citizens in the UK can only vote in European or local elections, and UK expats who’ve lived abroad for more than 15 years are excluded from casting their votes, however strongly they feel and however the results of elections and referendums affect their lives. The only exceptions are Irish and Commonwealth citizens, to whom disenfranchisement doesn’t apply.
The new campaign, deliberately politically neutral and formed by British in Europe, the 3 Million and Another Europe is Possible groups, is to be aimed at changing the law via either party manifesto pledges or the support of a majority of British MPs, thus ending the present total lack of voting rights consistency. Its spokesperson told the media the next few weeks in British politics could result in changing the course of British and European lives for decades, but most of those for whom it would have the worst effect didn’t even get a say. Whatever our personal views on the European Union, Brexit and party politics, he added, it’s totally wrong that millions of potential voters were and still are denied a say in their own futures. T
he stance of the 3 Million group representing EU expats in the UK is the same, in that it’s unfair that EU member state expats in the UK were disallowed from voting in the referendum. They are now facing losing their voting rights in local elections as well as their ability to stand as candidates. A spokesperson from Another Europe is Possible went further, stating the debate over Brexit has been blamed, attacked and scapegoated and losing the right of free movement is an attack on migrants’ rights. One Labour lawmaker is in full agreement, saying all expats settled in the UK should have full voting rights, with the present situation a shame on Britain as a society. The right, he continued, to live in wherever you call home has been undermined by lawmakers falsely claiming to speak for all the people.
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