British expats around the world are being reminded that if they have been away for less than 15 years they are eligible to vote in the UK's European Union referendum which could be held as soon as this summer.

Expats, especially those living in Europe, but also those further afield in Australia and Canada, have been following the news that the crucial vote on whether the UK should remain in the EU could come as soon as June.


British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that he believes he has a document that all EU countries will agree which he believes will give back certain powers to the country and thus negate the idea of moving out of the EU.


But there is still a large number of people, according to recent opinion polls, who would vote for the UK to leave and expats are being encouraged to take part in the referendum. The last referendum on this issue was 40 years ago.

Ultimately it will be the British people who decide whether we're stronger and better off as part of the European Union or on our own.

Expats who have moved within the past 15 years can remain on the UK's electoral register and vote in certain elections, including the referendum, and the Electoral Commission is hoping that is Oversea Voter Registration campaign will encourage those who can vote but are not registered to do so.

Expats can register online. To do so they will need their British National Insurance number, date of birth and passport number. Once registered voting can be done by post, by proxy where a trusted person is designated to vote on the voter's behalf or in person if the voter is in the UK.

Most expats choose to register to vote by post and the commission is reminding people to make sure they allow sufficient time for their votes to reach the UK to be counted.

A spokesman explained that it should be easier to vote by post for the EU referendum than previous elections as the timetable has been extended to allow postal votes to be sent out even earlier than usual, giving voters more time to receive, complete, and return their vote.