THE announcement of the date for the Referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union has triggered a surge in the numbers of British ex-pats wanting to register to vote.
Latest figures show thousands of British nationals who live overseas are now going to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote in order to be able to have their say on June 23. The average daily rate of online registrations by Britons abroad has quadrupled from an average of just over 600 per day before the announcement of the referendum date, to more than 2,600 per day since then.
It comes just weeks after The Euro Weekly News reported that British Ambassador, Simon Manley, was on the Costa Blanca to support the campaign and help raise awareness amongst the British population in Spain to register their right to vote in the referendum.
The British Ambassador Simon Manley, said: “Whether you think the UK should remain in or leave the EU, June 23 will be your chance to have your say. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the British people to decide.” He continued: “You might be asking yourself, why bother to vote? Although you may now live in Spain, most ex-pats still have strong ties with the UK; financial, family, friends. You may also decide to return one day. So you very probably do have a stake in the outcome and how it may affect your life. I strongly encourage you to register to vote just go online and follow the simple process.”
If you have been on the UK electoral roll within the last 15 years, you are eligible to vote. Former residents of England, Scotland and Wales can quickly register at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. If you last lived in Northern Ireland then you need to download an overseas voter application form from the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland, at www.eoni.org.uk
You can choose how you want to vote by post, proxy, or even in person if you will be in Britain on polling day. If you choose to vote by post, ballot forms will be despatched about one month ahead, giving you time to receive, complete and return your vote.