Overseas Electors Bill: Money

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:32 pm on 16th October 2018.

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Photo of Jo Platt Jo Platt Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office) 4:32 pm, 16th October 2018

I beg to move an amendment, to leave out “any increase” and insert

“an increase not exceeding £10,000 in any financial year prior to the financial year after the financial year in which a Minister of the Crown lays before the House of Commons a report on the expected increases arising from the Act and any increase thereafter”.

Our electoral law and the franchise is one of the most important issues we can discuss in our democracy, and this money resolution will permit a serious alteration to our franchise. Under current provisions, British citizens who have moved abroad can apply to be registered as a special category of elector: an overseas voter. They must be registered in the last constituency in which they were entered on an electoral register before they moved abroad, and they may only vote in UK parliamentary elections. But the Bill will end the pragmatic and reasoned approach we have taken in this country. Our current 15-year limit to the duration for which an elector can leave the country serves to maintain the vital link between expats and their home country, a link especially pertinent in light of our departure from the European Union, but also one that, crucially, ensures that those elected to this House are representatives of the constituents we are elected by.

Make no mistake: as a modern, progressive socialist party, Labour remains committed to building a truly global Britain, championing our core values of equality, social justice and opportunity for all.