Groups supporting the rights of Britons abroad are seeking help with the launch of a new campaign to renew calls for an MP or MPs for British citizens overseas.
The idea of overseas constituencies with MPs for other parts of the world – as France has for its citizens abroad – is already supported by the Liberal Democrats but has gained little traction among other parties.
Campaign groups join forces
New Europeans UK, a charity supporting EU citizens in the UK and Britons in the EU, is teaming up with other groups, including campaigners Brexpats Hear Our Voice (BHOV) and Unlock Democracy.
New Europeans’ founder, former Labour MP Roger Casale, said the campaign will get under way shortly with a petition and website and will lobby MPs for cross-party support.
“We want to encourage our communities to ask for it, and to make the case and show a demand for it,” he said.
‘Being linked to a UK constituency is inadequate’
The government and MPs of all parties are often not well enough informed of the needs of Britons abroad, he said, but can be sympathetic if the issues are explained to them.
“British people abroad don’t know where to turn. There are a myriad of post-Brexit issues, but if you don’t have proper representation, it’s hard to make progress.
“Britons in the EU no longer have a local council vote in many countries and no representation in the European Parliament.
“The 15-year limit to UK voting from overseas is ending – and we are delighted about that, and campaigned for it – but a lot of people will need representation and being linked to a UK constituency is inadequate.”
People interested in helping can email firstname.lastname@example.org