TENS of thousands of British expatriates will NOT get a vote in the UK General Election on June 8.
Six months ago the British government said it would change the law so that longterm expats who had lived outside the UK for more than 15 years would get a vote in forthcoming polls.
But as Prime Minister Theresa May’s sudden General Election decision was confirmed yesterday (Wednesday April 19) by MPs in Westminster, it became obvious that the poll announcement had thrown a spanner in the works over the planned law change.
A British embassy official in Madrid admitted that while remaining committed to changing the law to enfranchise all British expats, “unfortunately there is not sufficient time to implement this for this General Election.”
The government announced plans to scrap the current 15-year limit in October 2016, but the parliamentary bills to amend the so-called ‘primary’ legislation have not yet been tabled.
Meanwhile, those eligible by virtue of having been registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years must first ensure they are on the electoral role before applying for a postal vote.
If you registered to vote in last year’s local and mayoral elections, you may not need to re-register.
Otherwise, you can register online, for which you will need your National Insurance number and passport, by visiting https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. Information on postal voting can be found at https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/how-doi-vote/voting-by-post.