It felt really important and weird to cast my vote today, because I realised that it could be the last time in my life that I’m able to do so.
It takes a bit of a perfect storm, because it requires all of the following to happen:
- Brexit really happens and never gets reversed.
- Either (a) we never get another independence referendum, or (b) we get one, but the UK government changes the franchise to exclude EU citizens, and Scotland votes No again.
- EU citizens get removed from the electoral roll when Brexit happens. I don’t think the Scottish Government would be happy with this, but Westminster could force it through.
- I don’t apply for naturalisation.
- I don’t move to another EU country.
But what about Danish elections? Well, Denmark disenfranchises emigrants after just two years abroad (and I believe it was just six months when I left), so I haven’t voted in a Danish election since 2001, three months before I moved to Scotland. Since then, I’ve been restricted to voting in elections for the council, Holyrood and the European Parliament, as well as the first independence referendum. I can’t vote in Westminster elections, and of course I couldn’t take part in the Brexit referendum, either.
(The bit about voting in UK elections is of course different for Irish and Commonwealth citizens in the UK, who have full voting rights for historical reasons.)
I guess it doesn’t really matter, but it does feel a bit weird not to know whether I’ll ever vote again. I hope I will.