The UK referendum and the Right to Vote

For some years now I have been concerned about being disenfranchised after 15 years living abroad. I have written a paper, letters etc but recently not done much at all. It seems as though the argument is won, because the Conservatives have said they will abolish the 15 year rule.

But suddenly it becomes very important. The referendum on staying in or leaving the EU is looming, and a decision to quit could have significant consequences. Cameron however seems to say that we will not have the right to participate in the referendum.

What do people feel about this?

In fact, looking at parliamentary procedure, if the bill to enable a referendum is passed into law before the votes for life one goes through, then people will still be excluded. It is a case of looking at the small print. I have a sneaking feeling the votes question is considered secondary at best and in the best British tradition it will be either delayed or shelved. The 16 and 17 year olds question may actually get in the way. The government has said that it is against and did not put anything in their manifesto but the SNP and Labour dominated Wales want it, Labour are divided but enough of them in favour to push it forward, the handful of Lib Dems and Greens all for and the jury is out in Northern Ireland. That is highly likely to stand in the way because it is being pushed already. Mind you, between the two it would bump up the likelihood of a good majority against leaving the EU which the hard line EU outs do not want to have. So, it looks like the tens, actually couple of hundred, of thousands you mention Chris must be promised all but given nothing to pander to the antis. Perhaps after the referendum then, but if it is too late then they also realise that no doubt come 2020 those same people could considerably damage their chances of winning if this parliament does not go as they want. But then, who ever expects politicians to play clean?

Everything depends on when the referendum takes place. We have been promised the "votes for Life" bill"by the end of this session" (which I assume means before May 2016). It will then be up to the electoral commission to get their act together and get the voting system changed. If the referendum is held in 2016, I do not feel that it will all come together in time and we will lose out.

Perhaps everyone should lobby their MP to ask what is happening and that, if we do not get the right to vote in the referendum, perhaps it is because the politicians do not want to stay in Europe so, by denying us a vote ensures that they do not get thousands of votes in favour of staying in - just a cynical thought.

Whatever, if one has not registered to vote (currently available for those who have been here for less than 15 years) one will not get a vote even if it does all come together as we may wish.

Yes but will the government abolish the 15 year rule BEFORE the referendum??

Like you I feel disenfranchised and entirely helpless .I

feel I have half voting rights as we can only do local and European voting here in France. When I moan people say then why don't you become a French citizen? However I feel that I am not a French citizen even after 23 years here I am still a Brit deep down . Now if I could have dual nationality then I would jump at it.

Does Cameron say he will lift the 15 year rule if we vote for him to leave?