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Curious case of emigration.

In a rather shocking revelation today, I discovered, probably long after everyone else, that you can remain on the electoral register if you emigrate from the UK.

You are subsequently entitled to a vote in UK or EU parliamentary elections, but not local or devolved elections.

To me, this is an astonishing state of affairs. A person can migrate to another country, but still help elect a government whose only contact they may have is through foreign policy.

If we also consider the fact that, within Northern Ireland, unlike other devolved areas, the main UK parties do not stand candidates. The Conservatives have started to stand some, and at the last election UKIP stood in most too, however, Labour and the Lib Dems refuse to do so.

So what? some of you may say. We arrive at a situation where someone, no longer residing in, or paying tax within the UK can vote for so-called national parties and help elect a government, and this is deemed equal to a vote in a constituency where the likely winner will refuse to sit in the House of Commons.

To date, the most intellectual response to this has been, “You chose to live there, move if you don’t like it”. Yes, usual minded people come out with that. We don’t all choose to live where we do, sometimes there are significant pressures involving where we live. I don’t think it is correct to refuse someone their right to participate in a democracy because of a postcode.

Of course, your opinion may differ.