Vote or lose your rights without a fight.

“British expats, register to vote NOW!” urges UK Electoral Commission

With time marching on towards the voter registration deadline for the European Parliament elections on 22 May, the Electoral Commission has launched an international campaign to encourage Britons living overseas, and who are not deprived of the right to vote by the 15-year rule*, to register before the beginning of May.

On Wednesday 26 February, in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the elections watchdog is staging Expat Register to Vote Day in a bid to boost the numbers of British expats on the UK’s electoral registers.

Make sure you have your say

“The European Parliament elections are now just around the corner and we’re concerned that many British expatriates have not yet registered to vote,” said Samantha Mills, Head of Campaigns at the Electoral Commission. “Expat Register to Vote Day marks the official start to our campaign, so we are urging people to take five minutes out of their day to visit our website and make sure they’ll be able to have their say.”

British citizens who have been registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years are eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary general elections provided they register, and, if they live in another EU Member State, also in the European elections – but if they vote in the UK they mustn’t vote in the same election in their country of residence.

To be able to vote, you must register every year before the deadline – so please visit and download, fill in and send back your registration form to the address indicated on the form, to arrive before midnight on Tuesday 6 May

You’ll need your last full address in the UK including the full postcode, and the number, place and date of issue of your passport.

Those who were too young to register when they left the UK can still register, as long as their parent or guardian was registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years.

If you are registering as an overseas elector for the first time, you’ll need another British expat (not related to you!) to countersign your application. By all means contact us if that poses a problem!

Vote in person, by post or by proxy

When you register, you should also think about how you are going to cast your vote.

You can vote by post, but would-be postal voters should decide whether they will have time to receive and return these papers by polling day.

As alternative to voting by post, consider voting by proxy. This involves nominating a person you trust in the UK to vote on your behalf. The registration form at gives further information, and can be used to apply for either a postal vote, or a proxy vote.

* Voting rights for British nationals who have lived abroad for more than 15 years are a matter for Parliament, not the Electoral Commission – see

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Latest comments

11.09 | 19:03

Thank you for your opinion. However, the UK is far from being oppressed by the EU. We are one of the leaders not followers.

18.06 | 14:34

What a load of rubbish, who wants to be controlled by any devil ,the English have proved over history that they will not be oppressed

18.01 | 13:35

Dear Kathleen, Thank you for visiting the website and posting your comment in support of our cause. Please, if you can find time, write to your UK MP. Thanks

18.01 | 13:20

This proposal is in my opinion a clear breach of EU law.

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