Wednesday, 23 January 2013

In or Out... of the franchise....

While the mainstream media (MSM) debates on whether Ed Miliband is being daft and what Farage will do next, I was struck by who will be able to vote in this potential referendum on In or Out of the EU?

If it's aligned with the local election register, than EU citizens will be able to vote.

However, if it's done on the Parliamentary election register, then only British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens will be able to vote. Expatriates presumably can't vote at all - though can they vote on EU elections, in their new countries.

If, as an EU citizen, you've come to live in Britain and want to vote to express your wish for Britain to remain part of the EU, that's surely something you should be able to do, as it affects you and your taxes are going to pay for it - no taxation without representation (an argument for why EU citizens should have a say in Parliamentary elections, but that's for another day). 

If, you've emigrated to another country and enjoy freedom of movement back to the UK, is your opinion not relevant to the debate? This is a more difficult argument to make, as the person concerned chooses to make their home abroad, but it's an interesting thought experiment none-the-less. 

Although this ignores bigger disenfranchisement problems, this will be an interesting, and potentially key point.

I await someone in the MSM asking the question...... 


  1. I disagree, if you are not a British subject there is no reason why you should be able to vote on the future of this country?


  2. Ah so, if you have emigrated you give up your right to be a British subject then?

    It’s a complicated subject (pun not intended).

    That’s why I framed it in the context of the debate – would I want people to vote who have benefitted both from leaving the UK AND coming to live here- for sure. And also people who feel that either action are detrimental to their quality of life.