UK Conservative Introduce Bill to Extend Expat Voting Franchise

Another campaign has been launched in the battle to end the discrimination that exists with regards to voting rights for British expats.

Currently British citizens choosing to live abroad lose their right to vote in General election after being out of the country for 15 years.

This is in stark contrast to other countries in Europe such as France which even has a representative in the legislature for its citizens living abroad.

Yesterday, the co-chair of the Conservative Backbench Group for the rights of Britons living abroad, Conservative Member of Parliament Geoffrey Clifton-Brown introduced a 10 Minute Rule Bill designed to abolish the much hated rule.

This follows last week’s intervention by Lord Norton, also a member of the Conservative Backbench Group, who initiated a debate in the Lords on increasing expat voter registration. However, Clifton-Brown, who is also Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party, admitted “It’s difficult to get a controversial Bill like this one through. Being realistic I think it’s unlikely, but you never know.”

Heather Harper, Chairman of Conservatives Abroad said “it’s the Conservative Party that is championing the rights of British expats. It’s very important that the estimated 3 million eligible expat voters register to make their voices heard in 2015. We would love it if Geoffrey’s Bill allowed even more British expats to vote and we will keep campaigning to restore their democratic right”

It seems certain that pressure will continue to be applied to the legislative system in the UK and hopefully one day this rule will be repealed. That way British citizens who happen to be living abroad will be able to exercise their democratic right to vote.