Votes for Expat Brits
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How is the law discriminatory?
Members of the armed forces, Crown servants, and employees of the British
Council are exempted from the 15-year rule. So a Briton employed by the
European Commission  loses the right to vote after living in Brussels for more than 15
years, whereas a Briton working on the other side of the road for the UK Embassy to
the European Union will not.


The treaties of the European Union grant to all European citizens the right
to live and work in another state of the EU. The fundamental rights of EU citizens
to move freelywithin the EU was never intended to be subject to restrictions or
penalties, as the Court of Justice of the EU has consistently pointed out. If a
country places restrictionsor penalties on its own citizens who wish to avail
themselves of these basic rights, it is guilty of discriminating against its own citizens
to the benefit of citizens of other EUMember States, whose free movement to other
countries is not penalized.


Many Britons live abroad because they were posted there by their UK
employers, orbecause they represent the UK in international organizations or NGOs,
such as the European institutions in Brussels or agencies of the United Nations. These
are peoplewho fly the flag for Britain abroad. Why should they be penalized by being
deprived of the right to vote?