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Help end 15-year expat vote rule

Britons urged to contact MPs over new bill on expat voting rights

BRITONS in France are being urged to contact the MP for their last UK constituency to ask him or her to support a bill to end the 15-year limit on expat voting.

On Tuesday December 2 at 14.45 Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, MP for the Cotswolds, will present a bill for Britons abroad to have lifetime voting rights.

Expat rights campaigner Brian Cave said it is vital to “assure as many MPs are there as possible” by contacting your MP asking him or her to attend the House to support the bill.

“The House is normally fairly well attended on a Tuesday but we must try to assure that as many MPs are there as possible,” he added. “It would be a highly significant milestone if this were to result in a change of law but it is also a necessary step in testing the opinion of MPs from all the major parties.”

If you have been in France less than 15 years then your last MP is still officially your British MP; you can also help by asking friends and family in the UK to contact their own MPs.

Find MPs' email contact details at: Find MPs.

The bill will be presented as a “10-minute bill”, which is one way in which backbench MPs can introduce legislation. At the least, these are a chance for the MP to make a point on the need to change the law on a certain subject and to test parliament's opinion on it. They involve a speech of no more than ten minutes and one of the same length opposing the motion and are presented after question time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when the House is likely to be full.

The bill is being backed by MPs including Sir Roger Gale who says it “seeks to bring the UK into line with the best democratic practice” and that “most countries in the developed world” already give their citizens lifetime voting rights.

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