Team shortlist19 Apr 2017 AT 09:42 AM

Everything British expats in the UAE need to know about the UK election

You don't have long to register to vote!
Team shortlist19 Apr 2017 AT 09:42 AM
Everything British expats in the UAE need to know about the UK election
© 2014 Getty Images

Yesterday UK Prime Minister Theresa May called a snap General Election for June 8, giving parties just seven weeks to campaign.

During the announcement she said: “I have only recently and reluctantly come to this conclusion. Since I became prime minister, I have said there should be no election until 2020, but now I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I must take.”

As a British passport holder living overseas, this snap election doesn’t leave you much time to register. So here’s what you need to know.

Expat voting eligibility
You can register to vote if you are 18 years or over and one of the following applies:

-  You are a British citizen living overseas who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years.

-  You are an Irish citizen living overseas who was born in Northern Ireland and who has been registered to vote in Northern Ireland in the last 15 years.

How to register

-  Register online here. You will be asked for your name, date of birth, current address, past address if you have lived somewhere else in the last 12 months, National Insurance number and passport number.

-  You can also register by printing off the registration form and sending it via post.

Registration deadline

-  No registration deadline has been announced, however, the deadline is usually set a few weeks before the election. Experts say it is likely to close around May 23, but that’s not certain.

Changes in the future

Currently Brits abroad can only vote in this election if they have been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years, but this rule could change in the future. The current 15-year limit may be removed as part of plans to strengthen UK ties with expats.

Chris Skidmore, the minister for the constitution, said: “British citizens who move abroad remain a part of our democracy and it is important they have the ability to participate.”

“Following the British people’s decision to leave the EU, we now need to strengthen ties with countries around the world and show the UK is an outward-facing nation,” he continued. “Our expat community has an important role to play in helping Britain expand international trade, especially given two-thirds of expats live outside the EU.”

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