British and in Luxembourg? Referendum Information
The UK government has announced a Referendum offering citizens the opportunity to vote as to whether or not the UK should remain a member, or exit from, the European Union. Clearly this is an issue that will affect the lives of all UK citizens, in the UK and those of us who live in other countries. It is important we make our opinion felt, one way or another. The British Embassy here has provided the following guidelines (they are available in printed form at the back of church)
10 things you need to know about registering as an overseas voter
1. UK nationals who have been registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years can register as an overseas elector, to be able to vote in UK Parliamentary General Elections, UK-wide referendums, and European Parliamentary elections.
2. At the 2015 General Election there were almost 106,000 overseas electors on the register, three times the number that were on the register ahead of the previous general election in 2010 and the highest number of overseas voters registered ever!
3. Overseas Voter Registration Day is on Thursday 4 February 2016 – take five minutes to visit the online registration site, and let others know too. This is a day of activity to encourage voter registration amongst UK nationals living overseas, led by the UK Electoral Commission and supported by expat community hubs and embassies and consulates from around the world.
4. You can apply to register to vote in five minutes at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
5. With the date of the referendum as yet unknown, it’s best to register sooner rather than later so you can be sure you’re registered in time. It is important to remember if you are not registered you can’t vote in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union when it takes place.
6. You will need to know your National Insurance number and date of birth, and have your passport to hand if you have one. If you don’t have a National Insurance number you can still register, but you may have to supply more information to show who you are.
7. If you can’t or don’t want to register online, you can still download and post back paper forms. But remember to return your completed form as far in advance of the deadline as possible. The actual deadlines for registering to vote and applying for an absent vote will be set once the date of the referendum is known.
8. You have to sign an annual declaration once you are registered to renew your registration every year. So if you were registered to vote for the 2015 General Election you will have to renew your registration with your local Electoral Registration Officer in the UK or register again.
9. You can choose how you wish to vote. You can vote by post, by proxy (voting by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf), or even in person at your polling station.
10. Lots of UK citizens who live overseas might not know that they are still eligible to vote. Pass the message on that your vote matters! #passthemessageon #expat #yourvotematters