Tag Archives: uk ex pats

Baroness Joan Walmsley writes….Tories ensure more taxation without representation

It was Thomas Mayhew, minister of the West Church in Martha’s Vineyard, who coined the slogan “No taxation without representation” in 1750, capturing in that phrase one of the major causes of the American civil war.

Of course, this phrase reflected a clause of the Magna Carta, written in 1215.

British citizens who live outside of the United Kingdom are currently entitled to vote in elections for only 15 years after leaving the UK, but the Conservatives promised to extend this to lifetime enfranchisement in their 2015 election manifesto. The Tories said they were intent on “scrapping the rule that bars British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting” and would introduce “votes for life”, opening up registration to more of the five million Britons who live abroad. (There are currently less than a quarter of a million overseas residents registered to vote.)

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Brexit – a view from the Continent

For the 1.3 million British migrants living in the EU, the past couple of weeks have been pretty eventful. Many of us have watched and listened (in horror) from afar whilst Brexit and Article 50 have been discussed in parliament. We’ve heard that it’s “the people’s will” and that Parliament should not ignore the referendum vote. Yet many of us did not have the vote in the referendum, as we have lived for too long outside of the UK. We saw an attempt to guarantee the rights of European citizens living in the UK defeated, even by Labour MPs such as Gisela Stuart, who is on record as supporting their rights. An amendment to force the government to support British migrants, proposed by the Liberal Democrats, was not even taken. Many of us are starting to be seriously worried about the way forward.

Recently I was told that it was the European Union that is blocking progress on recognising the situation of individuals and also that UK citizens were being used as bargaining chips. If anything, it is the frustration with the British government’s lack of communication that has led to this situation. Many countries, except apparently France and Germany, are prepared to come to an agreement. The common Franco-German position, as well as that of the European Commission, is that there can be no discussions until PM Theresa May has formally invoked Article 50 and declared that the UK will withdraw from the EU. On the contrary, both countries are clear that they have no intention of “expelling” British nationals living in their countries, many of whom have jobs and families. So why should we be afraid?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 48 Comments
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