June sees two important votes

Photo Credit White House.
Barack Obama: Heavily in favour of Britain remaining in the EU.

THE next few months are going to be very hectic as far as we expats are concerned, as we can look forward to the Brexit referendum and then the Spanish general election, which will fall within a few days of each other in the latter part of June.

Every day a different pro or anti Brexit report appears and all of the big guns are vying for position to make sure that their words of wisdom (or in many cases unproven opinion) are given prominence.

Whilst the Conservatives are doing a pretty good job of badmouthing each other and Boris Johnson, in what appears to be something of a fit of misplaced excitement, played the Trump card by reminding everyone that President Obama was a Kenyan who really shouldn’t be allowed to express an opinion on the referendum (unless of course it agreed with the mayor of London’s).

Ironically, by Obama coming out so heavily in favour of Britain remaining in the EU and with poor financial figures coming from some of the main members of the Union, the pound received a fillip and started to bounce back against the euro, moving up by several cents.

The Labour Party seems to be keeping a low profile on the matter, agreeing in principle that Britain should remain but being a bit jealous of the conservative implosion, has decided that it is far more important to suspend members MP Naz Shah and Ken Livingstone for appearing anti-semitic due to comments the MP made before being elected to Parliament, and for Mr Livingstone’s defence of her, which was perhaps not terribly well-worded.

The main Liberal activity was to send Sir Simon Hughes to Gibraltar to effectively preach to the converted, as even the warring politicians there are united against a Brexit vote.

No party in Spain believes that it can run a minority government therefore after four months of futile attempts which included some quite good name calling, the king has had no option but to call another election which is the first time that this has ever happened. Although it must be remembered that there have only been 12 elections so far and some of the governments didn’t last too long.

Opinion polls don’t seem to be able to predict a clear-cut victory for any party, but possibly things will become clearer as the election date looms.

One thing is sure, expats who have lived outside of the UK for more than 15 years may find themselves helpless to vote in either the referendum or the Spanish election, and will just have to accept whatever the outcome may be.


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