The proposed franchise for the forthcoming EU referendum is not only perverse but utterly nonsensical.
Under the Prime Minister’s proposals, to be contained in the forthcoming EU Referendum Bill, 1.5 million EU nationals resident in the UK, including 90,000 in Scotland, will be excluded from casting a vote on the future direction of the country in which they live.
That is unless they are from Cyprus, Malta or the Republic of Ireland. Bizarrely, however, the proposals will allow Commonwealth citizens who live in the UK and are not UK passport holders to vote.
This is nothing short of narrow nationalism, viewing a Zimbabwean living in Scotland or a Scot living in Majorca for less than 15 years as being worthy of a vote, but excluding a Pole who lives here and for whom the continued relationship between the UK and the EU will have a major impact.
Such a situation will clearly do little to build social cohesion.
In addition, 16- and 17-year-olds, unlike the case for the Scottish independence referendum, will not be able to vote.
These young people are our future, they will have to live with the outcome for many years and it is vital that they have a say in this referendum.
The position of the UK Government on this matter is incoherent and unfair and requires to be urgently reviewed.
There seems to be a dispute over who will be able to vote in the forthcoming referendum. One group excluded will be some (but not all) citizens of the UK living in the rest of the EU – something about which the SNP has complained. However, going back to the Scottish referendum, Scottish citizens living in the rest of the UK were excluded, yet the SNP did not complain about this. Is this not a case of double standards?
Bo’ness, West Lothian
Am I the only person who remembers David Cameron saying the Tories were going to stop banging on about Europe?