PETITION: Help ensure Brits abroad get a voice in People’s Vote

PUBLISHED: 11:28 14 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:28 14 September 2018

A petition has been launched to repeal the rule that states Brits who have lived abroad for more than 15 years cannot vote
Photo: PA / Andrew Parsons

A petition has been launched to repeal the rule that states Brits who have lived abroad for more than 15 years cannot vote Photo: PA / Andrew Parsons

PA Archive/PA Images

A British ex-pat who has built a successful business in Catalonia has launched a fight against what he describes as a “gross failure of democracy”.

Martin Kirby who has launched a parliamentary petitionMartin Kirby who has launched a parliamentary petition

Author and olive oil producer Martin Kirby wants the government to repeal the rule which states Brits who have lived aboard for more than 15 years are not allowed to vote.

The 60-year-old has published a parliamentary petition in a bid to force the government to debate the subject. But he fears time is running out with increasing possibility of MPs being deadlocked on a Brexit deal which could force a general election or a People’s Vote.

Mr Kirby, whose company Mother’s Garden achieves 80% of its profit selling high-end olive oil into the UK market, needs 100,000 signatures to trigger a debate in parliament.

He said: “Within in the EU alone we are talking hundreds of thousands of people who are living and working British nationals abroad – and they are not allowed a vote. It is a gross failure of democracy – these people are perhaps more affected by the vote than any other and they have been failed.

“I am sticking my head above the parapet here – and I will get flak – but I need to explain and argue this case in detail. A lot of people don’t understand. People say ‘you don’t live here – you have no right to the vote’. But it is essential that Britain recognises the values and rights of its citizens abroad.

“I am not campaigning for a second vote. Whatever your opinions on Britain and Europe and the nation’s place and profile in the world, there is now the acute possibility of parliament not being able to agree a way forward, that this will force a second vote, whether it is another referendum or general election.

“That is why this petition is critical. Ending the 15-year rule is essential, immediately.

“It is a basic human and legal democratic right that the hundreds of thousands of British people and their families have a voice on our country’s exit from the EU, that we are not just ignored again.

“Britain wants to trade with the world – we, the ex-pats, are Britain in the world. We are proud to be British we are Britain’s bridge to the world.”

After the 2015 general election the government indicated it would bring forward a Votes for Life Bill in the Queen’s Speech. The bill has yet to be introduced in the House although Glyn Davies MP brought a Private Members Bill which was given a second reading in February this year.

To sign Mr Kirby’s petition click here.

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest Articles

Podcast

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Grassroots anti-Brexit campaigners are increasing the pressure on politicians ahead of a series of important votes this year. Here is a list of the events organised across Britain in the coming weeks and months.

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

The New European weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy