More details released of law to allow expats 'votes for life' in UK elections

More details released of law to allow expats 'votes for life' in UK elections
  • No longer will Britons living in Spain lose their right to vote after 15 years, says government as it outlines its plans

The British government has set out more detail on plans to scrap the rule that prevents UK citizens from voting in General Elections if they have lived abroad for more than 15 years.

All British citizens living overseas who have been previously registered or previously resident in the UK will be able to cast a vote.

These changes will come into effect in time for the next scheduled General Election in 2024, says Whitehall.

In addition, new rules will mean overseas residents can stay on the UK Electoral Roll longer without renewing their information - once every three years, rather than annually.

Electors will be able to reapply for a postal vote or refresh their proxy vote at the same time as renewing their voter registration. The changes will form part of the Elections Bill to be voted on by MPs in the UK parliament.

British Ambassador Hugh Elliott, said, "In an increasingly connected world, most British citizens living in Spain retain deep ties to the UK.

Many still have family there, worked there for many years, and some have even fought for our country."

British citizens resident in Spain can also vote in local municipal elections in Spain once they have been resident for more than three years.