British citizens who move abroad remain a vital part of our democracy, and it is important that they have the ability to participate. Indeed, expats retain strong links with the UK. They may have family here, or plan to return here in the future, and modern technology and cheaper air travel have both transformed their ability to keep in touch with their home country.
It is therefore right that the Government is committed to introduce votes for life, scrapping the rule that bars British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting. The Government has published details of its approach to removing this rule, and I know Ministers look forward to working with the expat community as they take the proposals forward.
Following the decision of the British people to leave the EU, we now need to strengthen ties with countries around the world, and show that the UK is an outward-facing nation. Our expat community has an important role to play in helping Britain expand international trade, especially given two-thirds of expats live outside the EU.