The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said that EU nationals who have been living in the UK for 10 years or more and are “contributing to this economy” should be allowed to vote.
Sir Keir said that it is “common sense” to allow EU nationals who have worked for years in the UK and are contributing to the economy to be allowed to vote.
Speaking on LBC, Sir Keir said, “If someone has been here say 10, 20, 30 years, contributing to this economy, part of our community, they ought to be able to vote.
“You go to doors sometimes in a general election and you’re met with someone who says ‘look, I’m an EU citizen, I’ve been living here 30 years, I’m married to a Brit, my kids were raised and brought up here, they’re now working in the UK… but I can’t vote’.
“I think that feels wrong and something ought to be done about it.”
The Labour leader added, immigrants not being allowed voting rights ““actually just doesn’t pass the common sense test for me” and teenagers who are 16 and over should be allowed also which is “not such an outlandish idea.”
Conservative Party chairman Greg Hands said, “The right to vote in parliamentary elections and choose the next UK government is rightly restricted to British citizens and those with the closest historical links to our country.
“No other EU country allows EU citizens who are not their nationals to vote in parliamentary elections.”
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The right to vote in parliamentary elections and choose the next UK Government is restricted to British citizens, citizens of those with the closest historical links to our country.
“That’s the position of the vast majority of nations across the world.”
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