2019 Conservative manifesto:
“We will make it easier for British expats to vote in Parliamentary elections, and get rid of the arbitrary 15-year limit on their voting rights”
After months of inactivity, it seems the British government’s manifesto commitment – to scrap the 15-year rule – is finally taking a step forward.
The Electoral Integrity Bill – which includes the restoration of the democratic voting rights of millions of Brits abroad – will form part of this spring’s Queen’s Speech.
You can read my article about the bill in the Yorkshire Bylines here
On Wednesday 3 March, there was further good news in the Budget. If you look closely at the small print on page 48, you will find reference to additional funds set aside expressly for the purpose of securing our #VotesForLife .
2.41 Overseas Electors – The government is providing an additional £2.5 million to remove
the limit preventing British citizens who live overseas from voting after 15 years.
You can read the Budget in full here
We may have been campaigning for our voting rights for years, but Harry Shindler, MBE, has been doing so for decades. It was Harry that first brought this excellent news to my attention when he phoned me directly following a call from Westminster. Harry wanted to express his appreciation for all Bremain’s efforts and said, “tell everyone that Harry says all your efforts have been worth it.”
Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see the bill make significant progress through parliament in time for Harry’s 100th birthday in July. What a birthday present that would make!
Just in case, we’re not done campaigning yet, so please keep writing to your MP and the government to demand the restoration of our democratic rights. Thank you, from me and from Harry!
Bremain will be relaunching our campaign very shortly with resources for you to share on social media, a template letter for you to send to your MP and other ideas so do check back. Take a look at the resources we have provided previously here.
Update 20 March 2021
The latest article in the Olive Press from Sue Wilson, with quotes from the wonderful Harry Shindler, MBE – ” Have faith! This thing will happen after 25 years of campaigning. With the promises made this time, I have every confidence.”
Update 25 March 2021
It’s taken a while, & we’ve been round the houses to get here, but our Bremain in Spain Chair finally got a response from Chloe Smith, Cabinet Office, re government plans to scrap the 15 year rule.
Next UK General Election