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U.K. to abolish 15-year limit on voting rights for expats

World

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British citizens who have moved abroad will be given "votes for life" as the U.K Government is set to abolish the arbitrary 15-year limit on voting rights, according to a press notice by the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

The new measures, which will be part of the U.K Government's Election Bill, will also make it easier for overseas electors to remain registered to vote for longer.

"Decisions made in the U.K. Parliament on foreign policy, defense, immigration, pensions, and trade deals affect British citizens who live overseas. It is therefore right that they have a say in U.K. Parliamentary General Elections," the FCDO said.

In addition, new rules will mean overseas electors can stay registered for longer, including with an absent voting arrangement in place, requiring them to renew their registration details once every three years, rather than annually.

Minister of State for the Cabinet Office, Lord True, said, "In an increasingly global and connected world, most British citizens living overseas retain deep ties to the United Kingdom. Many still have family here, have a history of hard work in the UK behind them, and some have even fought for our country. These measures support our vision for a truly Global Britain, opening up our democracy to British citizens living overseas who deserve to have their voices heard in our Parliament, no matter where they choose to live."

Electors will be able to reapply for a postal vote or refresh their proxy vote at the same time as renewing their voter registration, streamlining the process, and helping to ensure overseas electors have appropriate voting arrangements in place ahead of an election.

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