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Marymount - International School Rome

Brits living in Italy regain right to vote in UK elections

Move follows 20-year crusade by Harry Shindler.

Britons living abroad for more than 15 years will regain their right to vote in UK elections from Tuesday 16 January as the so-called 15-year-rule comes to an end.

The move, which will effect some three million Brits living abroad for more than 15 years, follows years of lobbying by campaign groups including British in Europe (BiE) to have overseas voting rights restored.

"Voting is a basic citizenship right regardless of where someone lives" - BiE co-chair Jane Golding said in a statement - "This is a historic change to the UK franchise after years of campaigning by ourselves and others, particularly long-term campaigner Harry Shindler, who sadly died before he could use his hard-won vote.’

In collaboration with the Electoral Commission, BiE is working to help long-term overseas Brits register in the UK constituency where they were last registered or lived, as well as answering frequently asked questions.

This significant change to voting rights will mean that Brits living longterm overseas, including in Italy, can re-register to vote in time for the upcoming UK general election.

Harry Shindler OBE, a British veteran of the Battle of Anzio and the Liberation of Rome, led an almost two-decade crusade to repeal the 15-year-rule.

A tireless campaigner for British voting rights, Shindler died last year at the age of 101 in his adopted home of Italy.

Photo Harry Shindler OBE, image courtesy British embassy to Italy

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