British expats, don’t lose your say

Dear Editor,
Recently many people have raised the issue of expat British citizens voting in Westminster Parliamentary elections after the 15-year exclusion period.
Liberal Democrats share the concern of British citizens abroad who lose their say after 15 years and at their Spring Conference this year voted to allow expats to continue to exercise their legitimate and democratic rights.
Unfortunately, legislation will not be in time for the 2015 General Election due to be held next May.
In these times of ever-increasing xenophobia, those of us who believe profoundly in Europe and the EU, those of us who have shared the dream of free movement need to get organised. The right to live, to work, to retire within the EU is under threat by Tories and UKIP.
The harmonisation of social security, pensions and healthcare did not appear by magic – it has taken years to achieve and is worth defending – and yes, reforming! We expats need to defend our rights within the EU, now!
There is a new system of individual voter registration in the UK… Everyone needs to register anew – it doesn’t matter if you have done it before – you have to do it again at
You can request proxy or postal vote applications from the same process.
Did you know that only 25,000 expat Brits in the EU register to vote out of 2.5 million? Imagine the clout if we all get registered! Millions of expats still pay tax in the UK and need a say!
Trevor Stables
Liberal Democrats Abroad – Portugal Branch