Announced in the Queen’s Speech and now seeing some movement, British citizens who have moved abroad will soon be given ‘votes for life’ – at the moment there is a 15 year limit on voting rights.
This will mean no matter how long you live abroad, you will soon be able to have a say on our Government, some see this as a positive – because pensions, benefits, health, trade and foreign policy matter to Brits abroad and other see it as a negative, as people living away for so long will have a say on something not really affecting them day to day (rich Lords and donators abroad perhaps?).
The changes which will form part of the Elections Bill will also include those who were previously resident and lost their right to vote.
Minister of State for the Cabinet Office Lord True, said:
In an increasingly global and connected world, most British citizens living overseas retain deep ties to the United Kingdom. Many still have family here, have a history of hard work in the UK behind them, and some have even fought for our country.
These measures support our vision for a truly Global Britain, opening up our democracy to British citizens living overseas who deserve to have their voices heard in our Parliament, no matter where they choose to live.
Not only will the traditional proxy vote and post vote be available but also the option to vote in person if they are visiting the UK. Interesting moves indeed!