There's an intriguing article in this morning's Guardian by a Madrid based journalist, Giles Tremlett. He argues rather persuasively that British ex-pats should not only be entitled to vote in UK general elections, but they should have their own MPs. France has recently introduced 11 expatriate seats into the national assembly, so the question is, should we follow suit? Read his arguments HERE.
I find myself on the fence on this one - unusual for me, I know. I can see the positive arguments in favour of having MPs representing ex pats. but on the one hand, if UK expats were genuinely worried about their democratic rights, they'd vote in far larger numbers than they do. Only 12,800 are even registered to vote.
I would, however, be in favour of looking at whether British overseas territories ought to be given a voice in Parliament. At the moment, they have to rely on friendly MPs to raise issues of concern to them. I think giving the people of the Falklands, Gibraltar and wherever else a voice in the House of Commons would be a very positive thing to do.
UPDATE: What about crown dependencies like the Isle of Man and Channel Islands? I don't know enough about their constitutional status to know whether having a voice in the UK Parliament would have implications for them in other areas. Who can enlighten me?