This petition was submitted during the 2017–2019 Conservative government

Petition Give voting rights to EU citizens in the UK and Brits abroad in a People's Vote

We should abide by the democratic principle that there must be no taxation without representation.

Five million people were wrongly disenfranchised and could not vote in the 2016 referendum.
Voices for Europe and In Limbo sponsor this petition on behalf of EU citizens in the UK and Brits abroad.

More details

3.7 million EU citizens live in the UK, having made this country their home. They work and have families here; 2 million of them pay tax ( Their contribution to British society is considerable. 1.3 million Brits made their home in the EU (of 5 million Brits who live abroad) and couldn't vote if they had done so for 15 years.

This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months

38,083 signatures

Show on a map


Government responded

This response was given on 23 January 2019

The Government has been clear we will not hold a second referendum. There are no set rules about who can vote in referendums in the UK, which are determined by Parliament for each referendum.

Read the response in full

The Government has been clear that we will not hold a second referendum. A clear majority of the electorate voted to leave the European Union at the 2016 referendum. We must respect both the will of the British people, and the democratic process which delivered this result.

There are no set rules about who can vote in a nationwide referendum in the UK. Instead, the franchise for each referendum is determined by the legislation for the referendum on a case by case basis.

The franchise for the referendum in 2016 was determined by the European Union Referendum Act 2015. The terms of the franchise set out in the Act were scrutinised and debated in Parliament during its passage and agreed by both Houses.

EU residents in the UK are not eligible to vote in UK parliamentary elections, and it was on this basis that Parliament decided EU citizens in the UK were unable to vote in the 2016 referendum, except for Irish citizens, because of long-standing arrangements for Irish citizens in the UK, as well as Maltese and Cypriot citizens in the UK, because of their status as part of the Commonwealth. No other EU Member State permits non-nationals to vote in national elections.

The Government is supporting Glyn Davies MP’s Overseas Electors Bill to provide votes for life for UK nationals who move overseas. This extends the basis on which British citizens outside the UK can vote in parliamentary elections. It passed Committee Stage in the House of Commons on 14 November 2018.

These were the rules specifically for the 2016 referendum, and the Government has been clear that we will not hold a second referendum.

Cabinet Office.