A group campaigning for Britons living in the EU is making a comeback to fight for long-term overseas residents to regain UK voting rights.
British in Europe (BiE), which had mostly wound down, has obtained £50,000 from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust for a year of advocacy work.
Push UK government on votes promise
It intends to press the UK to make good on plans to let millions of disenfranchised Britons re-register to vote before the next general election, which is expected to be in 2024.
The Elections Act abolished the 15-year limit on voting for Britons overseas but secondary legislation to put practical details in place has been put off.
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BiE also wants the regulations to include ways for Britons abroad to register and vote easily, avoiding recurring problematic issues such as postal ballots arriving late.
Influence detail of secondary legislation
Co-chair Jane Golding said: “We’re going back to our origins. Many of us have been active on voting rights for years.
“Our group here in Germany, which later became British in Germany, were lobbying on this before the Brexit referendum.
“Then, those of us who had been involved in that across Europe realised a coalition was needed so we could speak as one voice on our Withdrawal Agreement rights.”
She said lobbying to influence secondary legislation is an ‘opaque’ process, but they believe they have the right contacts and know-how, built up over their years of experience.
For updates or to contact BiE, see britishineurope.org
If you wish to comment on the importance of voting to you or have ideas on how to improve the voting process from abroad, please email us via firstname.lastname@example.org. We will pass the messages on to BiE.
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