BRITONS living in Spain are being urged to sign an online petition to safeguard their right to vote in any referendum on staying in or out of the EU.
Alan Thomas, a Briton living in France, decided that it was unfair that any referendum in Britain may exclude some of those who would be most affected by it – those people who have been living in the EU for more than 15 years.
At the moment people who have lived outside the UK for that period of time lose their right to vote in the UK.
That is an issue that has been becoming a hot topic as the British General Election approaches.
There has been legislation proposed that would remove the time restriction, but crucially that legislation may not be passed, if ever brought forward, until after an in-or-out referendum on EU membership.
So Alan has set up the e-petition on the UK government website calling for all British passport holders to be given the right to vote in any such referendum, regardless of how long they have lived abroad.
The full text of his petition reads: “It has been proposed that legislation will be introduced to remove the 15-year limitation on non-residents being able to register to vote in UK elections and referenda. Should a motion be tabled in Parliament to hold a referendum on EU membership, before such legislation is passed, this petition requests that all British passport holders meeting the qualifying criteria who are resident in the EU outside the UK be able to register to partake in any such referendum.” To sign the petition visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/74848