BRITISH Ambassador Simon Manley was in Malaga this morning urging expats to register to vote for the upcoming EU referendum on June 23.
Following yesterday’s High Court refusal to give a vote to long-term expats (out of the UK for more than 15 years), Manley stressed that every vote counts.
The deadline for expats to register for a postal vote is May 16, while the official registration deadline for UK residents is June 7, click here to do so.
More than 1,000 expats per day in Spain are visiting the ‘Register to Vote’ webpage which Manley described as ‘very encouraging’.
But there are still tens of thousands yet to register.
“Whatever you think of the issue, this is the most important issue Britain has faced in generations,” Manley told the Olive Press.
“This is going to determine the nature of our economy, our security and our society for generations to come.
He continued: “There’s no second vote. You’ll have one vote, one chance to exercise your right to vote and one chance to show what you think of this issue.”
The former Europe director of the Foreign Office was fervent in his belief that regardless of opinion, it is essential that anyone with the right to vote must exercise it.
“The truth is that we don’t know what the consequences would be should the British public choose to leave the EU, we can give people here absolutely no assurance about what will happen,” Manley added.
“And it would be foolhardy for us to do so, but the British people must be aware their vote will be respected.”
Voters will need their National Insurance number, passport details and, ideally, the postcode of their last residence in the UK to register.
The three voting options available are: a postal ballot (deadline May 16 for expats to guarantee arrival), by proxy or to vote in person if in the UK.
Registration can be done online with a possible step to be completed by post.