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Lord Wallace of Saltaire Lord Wallace of Saltaire. Photo courtesy Houses of Parliament.

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Lib Dem Peer says US Expat vote for UK Election needs addressing

Lord Wallace of Saltaire noted that some long-term UK resident Americans are unable to vote in the British 2019 General Election

Published on October 31, 2019


During a debate in the House of Lords about the upcoming UK General Election, Liberal Democrat Peer, Lord Wallace of Saltaire, said that voting eligibility for "American" citizens "who are long-term residents" in the UK is something that needs to be addressed.

During the debate, in which the House of Lords confirmed the 12 December 2019 date for the upcoming UK General Election, Lord Wallace of Saltaire said of eligibility in the 2019 Election that "We would also have preferred the extension of the franchise to 16 year-olds and to EU citizens who are settled in this country, but we recognise that our electoral law is a collection of imperial and historical anomalies. Irish and Commonwealth citizens resident in this country have the vote, while American and EU citizens who are long-term residents do not. These are important issues that we need to address, but in the next Parliament."

Earlier this year, The American published a feature which included the views of Americans in the UK on Brexit. The strength of feeling in that article highlights how important the topic of Brexit, as well as other political issues, is for US Citizens based in the UK. The recent action of Members of Parliament on issues like FATCA and the impact of US tax on Overseas Americans has also highlighted the important role that MPs have in the lives of US and US connected citizens in Britain.

It will be interesting to see how the approach of Parliament to eligibility could affect Americans who are long-term residents in the UK, particularly if the matter is raised in the next Parliament.

In the mean time, it is important to note that US Citizens who have dual UK Citizenship and are resident in the UK are eligible to vote in the 2019 General Election. More details on finding out if you are eligible can be found in this recently published item on The American's website: www.theamerican.co.uk/pr/ne-Can-Americans-Vote-UK-General-Election-2019.

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