If the UK’s taxpaying diaspora had the vote . . . 

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Sir, It’s even worse for long-term UK expatriates than your correspondent John Maddox describes (Letters, June 4). Many UK expats already pay income tax on their UK incomes, particularly pensions. When Tony Blair, former UK prime minister, took away their vote, however, he neglected to tell HM Revenue & Customs to stop deducting income taxes, even though such expats no longer use the public services that taxes fund.

In these circumstances, an important part of the value of a UK passport is the right to live and work in the EU. David Cameron, prime minister, seems set on jeopardising that without consulting the 5m UK diaspora that would potentially be affected. Many of these work for international companies, non-governmental organisations in poor countries or official multilateral organisations, like the UN agencies. Most governments tend to value such people and try to encourage links with their home countries. The UK, however, treats them like rats leaving a sinking ship.

If all the UK taxpaying diaspora had a vote, they might be equivalent to up to 10 per cent of the electorate so we would be talking about 50-60 MPs, not just one! They could certainly be important in a referendum on something that affects them directly.

Anthony Bottrill

Bethesda, MD, US


Letter in response to this letter:

Inexplicable problems of UK expats in retirement / From Dian Montgomerie Elvin

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