Britons Abroad Urged to Sign Up to Vote in Brexit Referendum

  • Expatriates have until May 16 to register to vote by post
  • Electoral Commission says 80,000 have applied since March

The Brexit Debate: What Happens if the U.K. Leaves the EU

Britons living outside the U.K. have until May 16 to register for a postal vote in next month’s referendum on European Union membership, the election watchdog said, urging them to sign up online.

Expatriates are eligible to take part if they’ve been registered as voters in the U.K. in the past 15 years. The Electoral Commission said Tuesday that registration should take only a few minutes at with a passport and a National Insurance number to hand. Anyone who misses the deadline can still vote in person or by proxy on June 23.

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Overseas voters make up only a fraction of the U.K. electorate. Of more than 46 million people eligible to take part in last year’s general election, fewer than 106,000 were living abroad. An estimated 5.5 million Britons are resident outside the U.K. More than 80,000 people have applied to register since mid-March, the commission said.

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