Most European Union citizens living in Great Britain will not be able to vote during Britain’s referendum on whether to stay in or leave the EU, the government revealed on Monday. The terms for the referendum should be presented to Parliament on Thursday. Prime Minister David Cameron is also launching a diplomatic campaign for reform within the EU.
In a press release, Mr Cameron’s cabinet said that the electorate for the referendum will be based “on the one for the legislative elections”, which took place recently. This means the majority of citizens from other countries in the EU living in Britain will not be able to vote.
As is normal during legislative elections, residents of Ireland and the Commonwealth will also be asked to vote. The Commonwealth is made up of 53 countries, 2 of which are also in the EU: Malta and Cyprus.
Deciding whether to stay in the EU “is a big decision for our country, a decision that will change the future of the United Kingdom”, a source close to Prime Minister’s cabinet said.
“That’s why we think it is important that the British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens should be the ones who decide”, the source said.