British expats in Qatar urged to register to vote as referendum looms
British nationals who live in Qatar are being encouraged to register to vote so that they can have a say in the upcoming EU Referendum.
A date for the nationwide vote on whether the UK should stay or leave the European Union has not yet been set, but it will be held before the end of next year, and could take place as early as this summer.
The referendum follows a vote from Scotland in 2014 to stay in the UK, prompting mixed reaction among Brits in Qatar. At that time, only people living in Scotland were eligible to vote.
Today has been designated an overseas voter registration day by the UK Electoral Commission, but expats can register to vote at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote at any time.
According to the BBC, the following are eligible to vote in the referendum:
“British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens over 18 who are resident in the UK, along with UK nationals who have lived overseas for less than 15 years.
Members of the House of Lords and Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar will also be eligible, unlike in a general election. Citizens from EU countries – apart from Ireland, Malta and Cyprus – will not get a vote.”
A change in law means that postal ballot papers will be sent out with more time to ensure they are received, completed and returned ahead of the yet-to-be-announced referendum day, a British Embassy spokesperson said.
Voting can also be done by proxy or in person, if the voter is in the UK on the day.