Labour plans to give foreign nationals full voting rights

PUBLISHED: 09:35 23 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:35 23 September 2019

An anti-Brexit 'Trust the People' march and rally outside the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

An anti-Brexit 'Trust the People' march and rally outside the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

Labour is planning to give full voting rights to foreign nationals and EU citizens living in the UK.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism

A motion that is being proposed to Labour conference, and is expected to win the backing of party members, commits the party to "extend equal rights to vote to all UK residents" if it is elected to government.

It would mean that anyone living in the UK would be able to vote in a general election regardless of their nationality.

At present only British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens are able to vote in general elections, with foreign nationals presently only able to vote in local elections and European elections.

The move would have huge implications for a second EU referendum - or a People's Vote - as it would enable three million European citizens to vote who were unable to have a say in 2016.

You may also want to watch:

It could also benefit pro-EU parties in future general elections.

It is a move that has been organised by Labour Campaign for Free Movement, who say it is "fundamentally wrong" people living in the UK can be denied the vote.

The motion states: "Labour must be the champion of migrants' rights in British politics. We must not allow working class people to be divided on the basis of where they are from.

"But speaking out on behalf of migrants is not enough. As representatives and activists of the labour movement, we understand that people only ever win justice and beat prejudice when they have a voice of their own. At minimum, this means having the right to vote.

"Millions of people who have made their home here cannot vote here. It is fundamentally wrong that so many millions of people are denied a vote in decisions which affect them deeply.

"So at this Labour Party conference and beyond, we will support moves to extend equal rights to vote to all UK residents. And we will support moves to put this extension of the franchise into Labour's next general election manifesto."

Become a Supporter

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 supporter

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

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest anti-Brexit campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.