UK expats: don’t miss out, you may be able to vote in the EU Referendum.
Today, the 4 February, I join the Electoral Commission in the launch of a day of dedicated activities to encourage British expats living overseas to register to vote. It is probably going to be a longer term campaign, but with the Overseas Voter Registration Day we aim to make a bigger splash and reach as many expats as possible around the globe!
As many of you living in Italy are aware, before the end of 2017 there will be a referendum in the UK on our future in the European Union. The outcome of this vote will be of enormous importance for the future of Britain and indeed for the EU, and for this reason it is more important than ever that the level of participation is high!
Not all of you are aware that it’s possible to register as an overseas voter for certain UK polls, in particular the UK Parliamentary General Elections, the European Parliamentary elections and the upcoming EU Referendum. Many of you could in fact discover today, or over the next few days, that you are eligible to vote and now it’s easier than ever to take this opportunity and register.
That’s why we are urging UK nationals who are now living in Italy to take five minutes on Overseas Voter Registration Day, or any other day, to visit https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and make sure you are able to have your say at the EU Referendum, when it takes place.
While Overseas Voter Registration Day is not the only day you can register, it is the perfect opportunity for you to encourage friends, family or colleagues to check if they can take part and ask them to go online to register from wherever they are in the world. So please do share this information as widely as possible.
To register as an overseas voter, you must have previously been registered in a UK constituency within the last 15 years. Once registered, you can then 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 if you will be in your local authority area on polling day.
It should be easier to vote by post for this referendum as the timetable for postal votes has been extended to allow them to be sent out even earlier than usual, giving you further time to receive, complete, and return your ballot pack to the UK. So please: remember to register!
To register to vote, visit
and follow #OVRD on Twitter for tips and advice.
Christopher Prentice CMG
British Ambassador to Italy and San Marino