No EU vote for expats over 15 years

Hi Everyone,

I know the discussion about Brexit attracted a lot of attention. An interesting Guardian article today

Abstract : "The high court has rejected an attempt to force the government to grant millions of UK citizens living abroad a vote in this June’ s EU referendum.

The legal challenge brought by two disenfranchised expats on behalf of those living overseas for more than 15 years was dismissed by Lord Justice Lloyd Jones and Mr Justice Blake."


This decision is subject to an application for leave to appeal and also a decision of the European Court so watch this space.

Frankly I cannot think why people who left a country over 15 years ago feel they have a right to a vote. In their country of domicile yes but not the 'old ' country. Indeed I am surprised anyone who leaves permanently gets a vote.

I agree wholeheartedly with you Mal. Why anyone who has left behind their country of birth can even term themselves 'ex-pat?' escapes me too. They have chosen to leave, they cannot vote.

French citizens retain the right to vote in Presidential elections, and can vote for an "overseas" deputé when they live outside France. French consulates are much more active supporting French nationals than British consulates. Having lived here for 28 years, I appreciate the difference. I would like the same rights for Brits. The laws passed in the UK still affect me as a British citizen.

So Michael, you'd take away their British Passport as well then and complete the disenfranchisement?

You are leaving UK does not mean you lose nationality. I am actually for loss of nationality if you commit crimes. Expats are not criminals. They take advantage of European freedom of movement to try a new life in a better environment.

Treating expats as criminals reeks of punishment. Its the old and outworn conception that you owe your country eternal presence whatever the hell you endure. Look what the rich like Philip Green do to their fatherland: They raid the pension fund and escape to Monaco. They are the criminals not the expats!

You do not live there that is the bottom line.

I've only been living in France for 10 years and can vote from my UK address while I own it. My UK pension will be paid for the rest of my life, depending upon UK government decisions. Even with a UK vote I have little enough say over UK affairs, and felt powerless when I lived there full time. In France I have no say at all because I can only vote for my village or department, not for the government who spend my income tax. I sympathise with people who have moved to the EU but can't vote in the referendum, as these would be better informed voters than most of the UK electorate, however I am feeling divided loyalties over my Referendum vote.

Do I vote for the benefit of the land of my birth, the UK? Do I vote for the benefit of the land in which I live, France? Do I vote for my own benefit as a UK Citizen residing in France? Do I vote for the benefit of my sons and family still living in the UK? Do I vote for the benefit of the European population?

Does the length of time spent in France change the balance of one’s loyalties and thus the way one will vote? Does the government think it will?

Yep, a further excuse for more expenses from the Legal parasites.

Couldn't agree more, I have lived outside the UK for nearly 20 yrs so why would I be remotely interested in policies which are of no relevance to me. My vote, when I lived there made no difference, we had to make our own way and success in the world by sheer hard work. The referrendum is a farce at best by what I am seeing on the Beeb so I'm glad I cannot vote.

No, maybe not Michael but UK Govt pensions are taxed assessed by law in the UK not our chosen place of residence - or would you have us stripped of our pension rights as well?

Jennie, please don't think for one moment that the BBC is impartial, that it reports the news accurately, or that it is in any way credible. Those days are over and whether in the UK or in France the last "News" I would believe is that reported by the BBC. The farce is, sadly, coming from the BBC rather than from the referendum as many other sources are providing useful and helpful information while the BBC is not.

Your pension is assured wherever you live in the world, not just the EU. Now, the exchange rates are a different matter.

That's good to know and most generous of you.

However, you do know I am sure that many of your contemporaries advocate losing pension rights altogether if you leave the UK just like they were over the loss of the WFP.

To those of you who say "You left the country so you should have no rights"... can they explain to me where one DOES have rights then. Unless one has French nationality you can't vote here. Perhaps all those folks who say the above are comfy, settled and can see the rest of their comfy-bubble lives playing out to ther satisfaction.

I owe no alleigance to my country of origin as it owes none to me (and has made that very clear). I have no democratic rights anywhere on this planet because I had the temerity to go find work the only place I could find it - France, and I was too poor to make a visit home within 3 years so.. I lost the right to vote because my country made me unemployed and thinks I should stay away.

I don't know where I'll end up, perhaps back in NZ. Why is it if you leave a country you are considered a traitor; get with the 21st century. I may not be living there but I keep up with all the news, sign kiwi petitions, lobby MPs. One might say I'm more active for NZ than a lot of apathetic kiwis are. You think I shouldn't have rights?

I won't have any rights in France until I can become a French citizen, maybe then I'll have the right to have any kind of work I want, start a business do a lot of things I don't have. I'm not saying the world owes me a living though I think govenments should be responsible for providing environments where anyone can have a decent job. They don't!

I can understand Brits feeling a bit miffed about not having the vote compared to the democratic rights of the French. No one knows when or if they might have to go back to their country of origin - how about a bit of sensitivity and humanity from those hardliners who say F you if you leave a country.

As a Frenchman I enjoyed voting even if I spent more than 15 years abroad. french ambassadors when they were gathering us on special occasions used to say that we were France's representatives as well. We tried to behave as such. And we were always very conscious that one black sheep's deeds could disrepute the country in the locals' eyes.

In an open world France (and Britain)'s influences and wealth are increasingly supported by their expats. Therefore, why should their expatriated citizen be deprived of their voting right ?

I am just asking.

I think the BBC is pretty impartial-must be as both left and right accuse them of favouring the other side. Same with the EU referendum-I've seen the BBC getting flack from both sided for giving more emphasis to the other side's arguements.

I moved to the Isle of Man, some 38 years ago. The IoM is not part of the UK, but is a Crown Dependency, with it's own Government and Laws. We are geographically part of the British Isles and under International Law (such a loose term, in my opinion), we are British Citizens, but have no right to vote in the UK general elections nor on the in/out vote on the EU.

I have debated this with myself and have to say, I do not think I should have a vote on this topic as I do not live in the UK, even though English born and lived in both England and Scotland, to the age of 24.

I chose to leave the country of my birth and therefore became eligible to vote in all elections Manx, but don't feel I have any right to vote in UK elections.

Just my thoughts!