Extent, commencement and short title

Part of Overseas Electors Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:15 pm on 31st October 2018.

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Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham North 2:15 pm, 31st October 2018

That is my anxiety. One of my core political values is doing unto others as you would have done to yourself. If I were in their shoes, I am sure that I would be grateful for the warm wishes, but what I would most want from parliamentarians is that they listen to me. I say that as a preface to the AEA’s saying that:

“In view of this time limit being removed”— the time limit being the 15-year rule—

“consideration needs to be given to the deadline being brought forward for overseas electors to register so that it allows sufficient time to process and check previous revisions of registers”— we have talked about that—

“followed by documentary evidence or attestations being provided, if necessary. In addition, sufficient time is required to arrange for any absent vote arrangements to be put in place so that the overseas elector can cast their vote at the election or referendum in time for it to be counted.”

That is moderately put, but the message is clear. We ought to look at this idea. I am willing to concede, as a headstrong and a relatively new Member, that I perhaps pushed on too quickly in saying that we should definitely move the time limit—the evidence is perhaps not yet clear enough. However, through this review, the evidence would become clear, and it would soon become obvious whether there is a problem that needs to be solved. I hope we would listen because there is fundamental merit in understanding that.

As always after a day here, I reflected on what Opposition Members—sorry, Government Members; I have fast-forwarded a year or so—