Expats look for voting reform


British expats are soon to find out if their hopes of a reform to the current voting legislation will come to pass.

Currently, British expatriates who have been out of the United Kingdom for 15 years are stripped of their right to vote, a move that has been fiercely contested by the affected expatriates, especially as many of them still pay into the British tax system and work for British companies overseas.

Now, this coming Thursday will see the topic raised at a select committee hearing by a nine member cross party group. This group will speak for the thousands of expats who have been campaigning via various channels to end the 15-year rule.

One of the campaigning expats, Anita Rieu-Sciart, who left the UK for France 20 years ago, penned a letter to the committee saying: “We have worked and paid in to the UK all our working lives; paid in tax, for health, and everything else. Why should we lose the right to vote, because in our declining years we decide to live elsewhere? Virtually no other European country strips its citizens of their right to vote. The over 300,000 or so French citizens now living and working in the UK have their own parliamentary representatives. But somehow our Government can’t make it possible for all its citizens to vote in UK general elections.”