It’s difficult to obtain statistics on just how many UK citizens live abroad, but 2017 figures estimated around 4.6 million throughout the world. Of these, 1.3 million reside in the European Union.
Under UK law any citizen who has resided outside the country more than fifteen years loses their right to vote in UK general or local elections, or referendums.
It’s impossible to know just how many British citizens have been disenfranchised by this ugly rule, but even by conservative estimates the figure must be in the millions. Certainly sufficient to have put the 2016 EU referendum into serious doubt, had most of them voted to remain.
In their manifesto of 2014-15 the Tories agreed, if they were voted into power, to repeal the act brought in by the previous Labour government of Blair/Brown, but to date they’ve failed to do so. There was a half-hearted attempt earlier this year, if a Private Members Bill had been allowed to proceed. Although it had government backing, it failed because of a loathsome, disgusting, apology for a man whose resumé reads like that of the Roman Emperor Caligula:
Philip Davies is his name. He’s a Tory, but would likely be more at home in the US Congress as a far-right Republican Trump supporter, rather then on the back benches in the UK House of Commons.
Davies loves the sound of his own voice, which wouldn’t be so bad if he spouted anything worthwhile. He uses the filibuster frequently to block bills that would otherwise have become law. Davies’s interventionism in political dialogue is so common and so ridiculous that it doesn’t merit listing here. Check the links below for further information.
Suffice to say, when after three years of promises the government finally allowed a Private Members Bill to kill the legislation denying non-resident citizens the vote after fifteen years, Davies filibustered it until it ran out of time. Needless to say, this repulsive character is an ardent Brexiteer determined to prevent any increase in those who might vote to remain, in the event of a second referendum.
Davies is divorced, but is shacking up with this woman…
…Esther McVey, the Tory MP for Tatton in Cheshire. McVey has just thrown her hat into the Tory leadership ring as a possible successor to Theresa May. She, like Davies, is an ardent Brexiteer and quite prepared to drag Britain out of the EU without any deal in place.
The EU referendum of 2016 was always rife with corruption and dark dealings. Is it sheer nationalism that drives these people? Do they still think Britannia rules the waves; that they still own the Indian sub-continent, and can claim back America as colonies once loose from the EU chains that bind them?
Or, is there a more personal interest in the success of Brexit? Perhaps it’s time the British people began asking just what these ardent Brexiteers really stand to gain, should they succeed in casting their country adrift from Europe, and the lengths they’ll go to ensure success – even to the extent of preventing nearly four million of their nation’s citizens from voting should a second referendum become a realistic option.
“Tories pledge to give vote back to all expats” ~ The Telegraph, September 1st 2014
“He killed the bill: Britons living abroad for more than 15 years still don’t have a vote” ~ April 9th 2019, Dr Sue Collard, University of Sussex.
“Esther McVey joins undeclared Tory leadership race” ~ The Scotsman, May 9th 2019
And just two of many reports on the antisocial actions of Philip Davies MP:
“Here are some of the bills Tory MP Philip Davies has filibustered” ~ The Independent, December 16th 2016
“Is Philip Davies fit to be an MP?” ~ The Guardian, February 2nd 2017