British citizens living in Malta will be able to vote in U.K. elections
British citizens living outside the Unitied Kingdom, including some 10,000 who reside in the Maltese islands, will be able to vote in U.K. elections in the coming years.
In an interview with Television Malta, the British High Commissioner Cathy Ward urged British residents in Malta to apply for the residency card in order to be able to remain living here.
British residents who spend over 15 year living outside the U.K. could not continue voting in U.K. elections.
The measure affected millions of British citizens living abroad for over 15 years leading, among others, to hundreds of thousands who could not vote in the Brexit referendum, even if they were directly affected by the result.
Ward stated that, following the Queen’s speech, it was announced that the British government will this year implement its promise to re-introduce the right to vote for citizens living outside the United Kingdom.
“It is a change which was an election manifesto commitment by the Prime Minister to make easier for British who live abroad to keep voting in British elections”.
High Commissioner Ward added that the change will give back an important right to UK citizens, permitting them to remain participants in important decisions for the country.
“If you are somebody who has been born, raised or has spent a big part of their life living in the UK, you’ve contributed to that country with your taxes etc, and if you have worked for a long time in the UK and for example you retired in Malta, you will be receiving your pension through the UK. So you still want to have a say in the policies being adopted in the country which could affect some of your rights after you leave the country”.
Referring to the residency card registration, Ward said that 9,000 of British residents in Malta have alreay applied, while urging the remaining 1,000 to apply by the end of this month.
“Please, please register for your residency card, and that card when you have got it, it will guarantee your health rights, it is very important for receiving your vaccine here in Malta so it is fundamental that people who have not done so yet, organise themselves and do it. Even if your paperwork is not complete you should still register and send everything you to Identity Malta and if any of your neighbours and know anyone who has not done it please encourage them do so”.