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Expats to be allowed to vote in British parliament elections for life

Published 07/10/2016

Britons who live abroad are to be allowed to vote in parliamentary elections for life under Government plans
Britons who live abroad are to be allowed to vote in parliamentary elections for life under Government plans

British expats should soon have the right to vote in parliamentary elections for a lifetime, under Government plans to scrap the existing time limit.

There is currently a 15-year time limit on British citizens who live abroad registering as overseas electors.

But the Government's proposed changes would give all eligible British citizens who have lived in the UK a lifelong right to vote in parliamentary elections.

Minister for the Constitution Chris Skidmore said: "British citizens who move abroad remain a part of our democracy and it is important they have the ability to participate.

"Following the British people's decision to leave the EU, we now need to strengthen ties with countries around the world and show the UK is an outward-facing nation.

"Our expat community has an important role to play in helping Britain expand international trade, especially given two-thirds of expats live outside the EU."

Mr Skidmore added that expats should retain the right to vote in British elections given many still have family here, while modern technology and cheaper air travel has made it easier for them to stay in touch with their home country.

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