Votes for Life – by 2022

The Queen reads out the Queen's Speech, which outlines the government's plans for new bills

The British government told Connexion it remains “committed to scrapping the 15-year rule in time for the next scheduled General Election” – in other words before 2022.

The answer was given by the Cabinet Office, after we asked why there was no reference to giving Britons abroad votes for life in the Queen’s Speech yesterday.  

The speech outlined the government’s plans for the next two years (until spring 2019).

Connexion asked if the measure had been dropped or had been put off to a later year, perhaps because of the constraints of Brexit; however the Cabinet Office did not elaborate on reasons for it being postponed.

Several other Conservative manifesto policies, such as lifting the foxhunting ban, creating new grammar schools or requiring elderly people to pay more for the cost of care at home were also absent from the speech, which included 27 proposed bills, eight of which relate to Brexit.

The postponement means that if another election were to be called in the next two years, as some commentators think may happen due to the weakened position of the current government, long-term expats would again be unable to vote, as in the 2015 and 2017 General Elections and the Brexit referendum in 2016.

A ‘Votes for Life’ bill was previously referred to in the 2015 Conservative manifesto and 2015 Queen’s Speech.

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