DUE to a postal error and issues with registering, it is believed that tens of thousands of ‘key’ Remain-voting expats could not vote in the historic EU Referendum on June 23.
In a vote which saw Britain choose to sever its membership with the European Union, expats along the Costa del Sol and inland – many of whom rely on EU membership for free healthcare – are, for the most part, flummoxed.
“I had dozens in my shop alone who got their slips one or two days before,” said The Sabinillas Bookshop owner and postal service holder Stephen Davies, 47.
“This was too late to vote and they were left very upset.
“There are hundreds if not thousands of places like mine on the coast where expats were relying on good postal service to get their votes and they were bitterly disappointed.”
He added: “They were all for remain and are devastated.”
“The postal service is just too unreliable and we are too big a group to ignore – in fact many, many more than Sunderland or Newcastle.
“This is a disgrace – we demand a vote which includes all expats who live abroad, there are around 1.3 million of us, eligible to vote, living abroad in the EU alone.”
Another expat Brian Flude is also very concerned about lapses in the postal vote.
Many ‘postage paid’ envelopes received were only eligible for free postage within the UK and were ‘binned by the Spanish postal service as they were not paid for’.
“It appears that many hundreds of people in Spain and elsewhere were denied the right to vote due to the incompetence of local councils and possibly the Spanish postal service,” said Flude.
“There have been posts and comments to this effect on the Citizens Advice Bureau Facebook page and I believe that this is just the tip of a very big iceberg.”