Labour plans to give foreign nationals full voting rights
PUBLISHED: 09:35 23 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:35 23 September 2019
Labour is planning to give full voting rights to foreign nationals and EU citizens living in the UK.
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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.
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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."
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