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Votes for Expats Campaign - October update

Votes for ExpatsThe last breakdown of statistics were circulated at month end September 2013 when we had 3,116 supporters from 64 different countries.

This has now risen to 3,212 supporters from 64 different countries Significant increase +% changes, by individual countries, have been...

1.  To sign the parliamentary representation for expatriates petition; http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43238 currently standing at 2,288 signatures. This petition closes on 02.01.14. For the minister responsible see note under item 3 below.
2.  To sign the Stop the Governments victimisation of pensioners living abroad who have contributed to the welfare state by withdrawing their winter fuel payment petition; http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/52121 currently standing at 13,724 - link to above to read the Government response.  This petition closes on 28.06.14. The minister responsible is Steve Webb MP - Minister of State for Pensions. Contact details; webbs@parliament.uk
3. To sign the Create MPs for expatriates similar to the French model petition; http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55085 currently standing at 2,405 signatures. This petition closes on 13.09.14. The minister responsible was Chloe Smith MP who recently resigned and a successor has to date not been announced - Minister for Constitutional Reform. Contact details TBA
TO CONTACT YOUR LAST MP: (provided, of course,  you still have one and haven´t yet been disenfranchised!) http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

•    Harry Shindler As previously reported Harry´s appeal to the ECHR - European Court of Human Rights was turned down. Harry is currently proceeding and preparing his application to the UN and we now wait to hear from Harry´s Solicitor / Avvocato, Charlotte Oliver  of Italian law firm Oliver & Partners, Rome;  http://www.oliverpartners.it/shindler-case-will-not-be-referred-to-the-echr-grand-chamber/ regarding further instructions.

•    Bills currently before the UK Parliament concerning Britain's relationship with the EU:
1. EU Membership (Audit of Costs and Benefits) Private members Bill Mr Christopher Chope MP. Second reading due 8th November 2013.
Objective - to set up a Commission to examine the current costs and benefits of the UKs membership of the European Union.

2. European Communities Act 1972 (Repeal) Private Members Bill Mr Philip Hollobone MP. Second Reading provisionally booked for 28th February 2014.
Objective - to take the UK out of Europe.

3. European Union (Referendum) Private Members Bill Mr James Wharton MP.Report Stage due 8th November 2013.
Objective - To ensure that an in/out Referendum on Europe will be held whatever Party wins the next General Election. The second reading passed 305 to 30. Both Labour and Lib Dem MPs generally abstained.
Mr. Adam Afriyie MP for Windsor has tabled an amendment to have this Referendum in 2014.

4. European Union (Withdrawl) Private members bill ?Lords - Lord Pearson of Rannoch. No date for any discussion has yet been announced.
Objective - To take the UK out of the European Union.

•    The Pensions Bill Government Bill by Mr Iain Duncan Smith MP.Objective - The establishment of a new basis for pensions. Clause 20 concerns freezing of pensions for certain expatriate pensioners. Sir Roger Gale and Sir Peter Bottomely, supported by Kate Hoey and Hywel Williams, have tabled an amendment to delete it.

•     All Party working Group on Voting Abroad, chaired by Lord Norton of Louth.  A report is due this autumn and confirm Brian Cave contacted Lord Norton on 11.07.13,  23.09.13 and 12.10.13 to seek information, none of which have occasioned a reply.

•    Major developments in the Irish Constitution; https://www.constitution.ie/AttachmentDownload.ashx?mid=4e660f9f-0029-e311-96d5-005056a32ee4 The Irish Government has undertaken to respond within four months by way of debates in the Oireachtas and where it agrees with a particular recommendation to amend the Constitution, to include a time-frame for a referendum.


•    Viviane Reding meeting in Marseilles 14th November - There will be a meeting entitled, "Citizen Dialogue in Marseilles" with Viviane Reding, Vice President and Commissioner for Justice, and Citizens Rights in the European Union involving a discussion with citizens. You can join in yourselves online at http://ec.europa.eu/debate-future-europe/citizens-dialogues/france/marseille/index_en.htm, or better still maybe you can attend in person? It is expected that amongst those attending, on our behalf, will be Christopher Chantrey, Paris who attended Harry Shindler´s meeting with Viviane Reding at the EC Brussels on 5th September. To view Viviane Reding´s "Citizen Dialogue" schedule with dates and locations; http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/reding/index_en.htm

•    GDS (Government Digital Services) - Expats help us test a new service. As previously advised GDS have requested the help of Expats to test their new service, Individual Electoral Registration project. The first two testing days are in Oxford on Thursday 31st October and London on Tuesday 17th December. This caused an initial reaction from Expats worldwide about why the testing sites were in the UK. GDS have since confirmed that the testing will then also be rolled out abroad. The Votes for Expat Brits Campaign Team have offered their full support and cooperation and suggested Paris as a good site. Read more at; http://digital.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/2013/10/23/expats-help-us-test-a-new-service/ 
The  London testing sessions are one-to-one which will involve having a look at a `prototype` of what GDS are developing and the user providing feedback and will only last for 45 minutes. The site is based in Farringdon, EC1V 4JL.


1.Threat to early, retiree healthcare - Sustaining services, ensuring fairness. A consultation on migrant access and their financial contribution to NHS provision in England; http://www.lefourquet.net/DoH-07-13-healthcosts.pdf

2. Cross Border Healthcare - The above also speaks of British Pensioners in the EU returning to the UK for treatment. The EU Commission has also regulated on this. A new law came into force on the 25th October 2013.
Read the euronews report; http://www.euronews.com/2013/10/24/new-eu-law-addresses-health-care-across-borders/


British Government Revue of "Competences" - As a prelude to David Cameron´s desire to re-consider relationships with the EU, the UK Government is seeking opinions of various topics. Some of the topics are important to expatriates now resident on other EU countries.

1. EU Fundamental Human Rights -  https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/boc-fundamental-rights-review
The consultation form can be found at; https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/boc-fundamental-rights-review/consultation/intro/view

Please also read; http://pensionersdebout.blogsot.fr - Brian Cave will be more than pleased and delighted to hear from and assist people who have problems with issues concerning Double Taxation Treaties, Healthcare and any other problems; lefourquet@orange.fr.


Votes For Expat Brits team: www.votes-for-expat-brits.com
Blog: www.votes-for-expat-brits-blog.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Voting_Rights

Kindest Regards
Graham Richards

E: graham.richards@orange.fr

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