Voting Rights

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 20th July 2005.

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Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly Shadow Minister (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Minister (Justice), Shadow Solicitor General

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which (a) Commonwealth and (b) other countries have reciprocal measures in place with the United Kingdom to allow British nationals, when resident in that country, to vote in the (a) local and (b) national elections.

Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Minister of State (Europe)

holding answer 19 July 2005

The Representation of the People Act 1983 provides that all Commonwealth citizens who are lawfully resident in the UK are entitled to vote in parliamentary and local elections. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has no information on the voting rights of British nationals in other Commonwealth or third countries. The voting rights of overseas nationals in Commonwealth countries are a matter for the country concerned. We are not aware of any formal reciprocal arrangements with any country.

According to Article 19 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community (TEC) British nationals resident in another EU member state have the right to vote in local but not in national elections; they can also vote in elections for the European Parliament.

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