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The UK referendum on the EU – Lose your vote or use it!

By David Hattersley
This article is published on: 20th January 2016

In the words of Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men, to do nothing.”

For the sake of equality I will add women as well! But, perhaps this is the greatest test of democracy that my generation has faced, and some of us, either through neglect or lack of knowledge, do not realise what we can do, as expat individuals. To simplify matters, detailed below are the facts. It is up to each individual to take the required action. I am including links to the relevant websites so you can get the full details if you require.

From the Electoral Commission’s website, it clearly states that British citizens living abroad for more than 15 years are not eligible to register to vote in UK elections.

On the website it states that registered overseas voters will be able to vote in the upcoming referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. The date of the referendum has not been announced yet but it is scheduled to happen before the end of 2017.”

If you visit, this site gives clear guidelines on how to register your vote as an overseas voter under British Citizens moving abroad, provided that this is done within 15 years of leaving the UK.

Alternatively, one can register on the following site. It only takes 5 minutes, but you will need your old address including post code, passport number and National Insurance number.

Renewing you registration will then need an Annual Declaration. This is based on the Electoral Commission document dated March 2010 and can be viewed as below. The specific section is;

“2.21 Consequently, entries may be made or registration renewed after the end of the 15-year period where the applicant meets the application deadline as set out above. Accepted applications last for a full 12 months in all cases unless: they have been cancelled by the elector; the elector is added as an ordinary Parliamentary elector or in pursuance of a declaration other than as an overseas elector; or it is found that the elector should never have been registered through the above procedures (i.e. as a result of an objection or review).”

For those that are less fortunate than myself and many others, an alternative for those that do not qualify can register their protest on the following website;

This is not only about us as individuals, but about the freedom of choice for our children and grandchildren.

Do not waste your voice !

Article by David Hattersley

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