Who Really Gets To Vote In The EU Referendum
The EU referendum is now less than a month away from us.
On June 23rd we will either vote to remain or to leave the European Union.
Seeing as deadline day for registering to vote is June 7, we figured it'd be conducive to quickly go over who is actually eligible to vote.
Any British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen who lives in the UK is eligible to vote. As well as British expats who have lived abroad for under 15 years.
The voting age is currently 18, though there have been arguments made for it to lower to 16, à la the Scottish Referendum, which would bring unsung voices into the equation.
15-year-old Connor Dwyer wrote in the Guardian that 'politics is not just for a select few, it is for and it affects every one of us, and there are particular times in our lives when the decisions made by our elected officials matter most significantly to us.'
Have you seen Sexy Beast? Great film, isn't it? Well Ray Winstone is an expat in that. And he'd probably cast a vote in the EU Ref.
Though you'd have had to have lived away from Britain for less than 15 years to do so. UK expats can either have someone cast their vote on their behalf, or actually visit the UK themselves on polling day.
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The top destinations for UK expats in the EU are Spain (which hosts around 319,000), Ireland (249,000) and France (171,000).
Expats can register to vote online here.
The deadline for everyone else wishing to vote in the referendum is Tuesday, June 7. The EU referendum itself will be on Thursday, June 23.
Here's a handy button to click to register, it takes just 2.5 minutes, after all...
Commonwealth migrants can join the fun as long are they are residents in the UK.
The Commonwealth of Nations consists of 53 states. Some include Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, Nigeria and New Zealand. You can find the full list here.
It's been argued that Commonwealth citizens could even swing the vote: "Of course, Commonwealth citizens do not represent a uniform bloc, coming as they do from India and Pakistan as well as Canada, Australia, and dozens of other nationalities. They are not guaranteed to vote the same way. But the more the In and Out campaigns play to Commonwealth identities and interests, the more votes each side can collect."
Unlike last year's general election, Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar will also be able to vote in the 2016 EU referendum.
Citizens from other European countries, except Ireland, Matla and Cyprus (Malta and Cyprus being Commonwealth countries), won't be eligible to vote in the EU referendum in three weeks.
Words by Josh Teal
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