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Plan to give British expats their own MPs

Ben McPartland · 6 Feb 2014, 17:29

Published: 06 Feb 2014 17:29 GMT+01:00

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British expats living in France and Spain would be able to target their grievances at their own MP under a plan by the Liberal Democrat Party to create overseas constituencies.

UK nationals living abroad have long been calling for their own representatives in Parliament, based on the model adopted in France in 2010.

Up until now their calls have fallen on deaf ears but the Lib Dems appear to have finally decided it may well be a good idea.

The reform will be put to the Lib Dem sconference next month and will become part of the party’s official mandate for the next election if it is voted through by members, The Times newspaper reported this week.

The reform would see new seats created to represent British Nationals living in Europe, North America and Africa. It would give hundreds of thousands of expats a say in what goes on in their home country.

France-based British national Brian Cave, who has been campaigning for greater representation and rights for expats, believes it is vital that he and others are given a voice.

“We should certainly have MPs based on the French model,” he told The Local.  “I have raised a number of problems in the past relating to how the British government acts in certain areas like health and taxes and it has been hard to have my voice heard.

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“It would be much easy if we actually had our own MP who we could take our concerns to,” he said.

France has two representatives in the National Assembly for North and South America, six seats which cover all of Europe, two for Africa and the Middle East and one for most of Asia and Oceania.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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