UK Membership of EU: Referendums

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 27th April 2016.

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Photo of Viscount Waverley Viscount Waverley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why UK citizens who have been resident in other EU member states for more than 15 years who pay taxes and social security in the UK and are treated as domiciled in the UK have been excluded from voting in the referendum on 23 June.

Photo of Baroness Anelay of St Johns Baroness Anelay of St Johns Minister of State

The franchise for the EU referendum is based on the current UK Parliamentary franchise and includes British citizens who have lived overseas for fewer than 15 years and were registered to vote before they left the UK. This means that many overseas voters will be able to participate in the referendum and we are supporting the Electoral Commission in their efforts to encourage as many as possible to register to vote. The Government intends to introduce legislation to scrap the 15 year rule as a permanent change to the Parliamentary franchise in due course.

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