British citizens who move abroad remain a vital part of our democracy, and it is important that they have the ability to participate. Indeed, expats retain strong links with the UK. They may have family here, or plan to return here in the future, and modern technology and cheaper air travel have both transformed their ability to keep in touch with their home country.
I am therefore pleased that the Government is committed to introduce votes for life, scrapping the rule that bars British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting. The Government is supporting the Overseas Electors Bill, introduced as a Private Members’ Bill by Glyn Davies MP, which is currently in Parliament and which would remove this rule, and I believe it deserves cross-party support.