My letter, to all my candidates in #GE2017

Dear [candidate seeking to represent me],

I am a registered voter in your constituency, and I live overseas, and I'm concerned that you don't know me very well.  I’ve spent some time thinking about how to write to you so that you can better understand my issues, and better represent me if you are elected on June 8th.  

We all have our own story

So let me start with this.  It would be amazing if you didn’t fall into the trap of lumping all British expats into the demographic of the 7% of those being retired and living in Spain.  There are many types of expats, and I am one of them. As British citizen living overseas, I have a young family, and I’m a good twenty five years off voting solely on medical and pension issues.  

I hope for a future where I can work, and travel and study freely from our home in Amsterdam.  I hope my children will enjoy those same liberties.  Those are the terms on which I moved overseas, and I voted to keep those rights.  

Tick tock. Tick tock.

Living under the Brexit umbrella is anything but a sanctuary.  I am acutely aware that my rights as an EU citizen are indelibly coupled with the UK being part of a single market.  For the next 22 months a secure future for me and my family lurks in our lives as an unwelcome guest.

I have debated when, if, my partner or I should change our citizenship in order to mitigate the risk of a hard Brexit.  If I want to further my career and change jobs will the fact that I’m a UK citizen - soon to be exiled from EU citizenship - eclipse my professional skills and achievements?

Will you stand up for our rights?

Overseas voters in Horsham made up 1.2% of the registered voters in 2016. I am not a lone voice, I am one of 971 members of your constituents who live overseas.  Will you stand up for our rights, and do so at each and every opportunity?

Yours faithfully,

Julia


Also published on Medium.