Is it really necessary to state again why the British Citizen abroad should have some form of representation to the UK Government?
The following list will vary in emphasis according to your age and status. It is not complete.
1. Financial :- Pensioners receive the State pension from the UK. Many have income from banks, investments, property in the UK. Quite a large number are taxed by the UK (under OECD rules) - all these are subject to UK fiscal rules. If the UK left the EU certain parts of this could be seriously affected. As it is the UK has shown a tendency to 'do down' the citizen abroad. Whatever one's personal view of the 'benefit' issue (WFP - Attendance Allowance - Disability Allowance ) the UK treasury has displayed a discrimination against the Citizen beyond Dover - Which is hardly consistent with the principle of 'freedom of movement'.
2. Treaties - We all reside freely in other States of the EU because of the treaties with the EU. In other parts of the world (e.g. Australia etc. Treaties seriously affect the lives of the British Citizens. We should have some input into these matters as and when the situation arises.
3. Cultural reasons. The relationships of the UK all around the world should surely be of interest to ALL British citizens wherever they live as much they interest those who reside in the UK
4. Social. When one votes one surely is also thinking of one's own family. Most of us have close relatives resident in the UK. One's grandchildren for example - even parents if you are young enough. You may be thinking that you may need to return to the UK. If so, it is desirable that the country to which you may return is the sort of country where you want to be. You vote may help to fashion it.
The existing system of voting for an ex-constituency is not good. Indeed it is ridiculous. But we are where we are. Change will not happen unless we show interest and use the vote! I and a good many more have no vote at all for any National Government - because we left the UK +15 years ago. Remember a Nation is the people, not concrete, nor countryside.
Some say 'But I want to vote for a representative to France - Spain - one's State of residence. This is a valid point of view. And my feeling is to support it. But that is not exclusive. I believe that democracy means having a say wherever a Government makes laws which affect you in one or more of the four ways above. Why should you be forced to vote for only one location of Government? Yes one vote per person for one Government, but not necessarily only a vote for one Government. Remember also that no-one is forced to vote but no-one should say 'I don't want to vote or don't need to vote - so you shouldn't have the need, or chance to vote!' To be a good Citizen of a Nation is to uphold the good qualities of that Nation. A good Government recognises the qualities of the Citizens of the Nation wherever they reside. That is why we have passports.
My belief is that there should be MPs representing the Citizen Abroad who understand the diverse nature of the group and their needs and thinking. A citizen abroad is for good or ill, in some manner an ambassador for the UK (or England, Wales, Scotland, N.I. if you will). A continuing dialogue between the National government and all the Citizens of that Nation must surely be good. The French and Italian Governments understand that.