The UK Minister for the Constitution, Chris Skidmore, announced last month that the government will eliminate the current 15-year time limit currently enforced on expat voting rights. This means that Brits living overseas will be able to vote for life in parliamentary elections.

The government published detailed plans on how it will deliver its commitment to allow all expats to vote, removing the current 15-year time limit on British citizens who live abroad registering as overseas electors.

This is great news for Marbella’s thriving expect community, as these changes would give all eligible British citizens who have lived in the UK a lifelong right to vote in elections. It also gives all eligible overseas electors the means to be able to register to vote quickly and easily.

In his statement, Skidmore said: “This shows how we will introduce ‘votes for life’, scrapping the 15-year rule. 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.

“Expats retain strong links with the United Kingdom: they may have family here, and indeed they may plan to return here in the future. Modern technology and cheaper air travel has transformed the ability of expats to keep in touch with their home country.”

This future policy is the newest in a succession of measures aiming to make it easier for overseas voters to have their say in matters of British democracy. There are now facilities available online to enable voter registration, making it simple and secure for British citizens to register from anywhere in the world. The government is also taking steps to lengthen the electoral timetable for postal ballots to be issued earlier, to further guarantee that as many electors as possible can exercise their right to democracy.

 

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