It may have a strange ring to it, but it is time the House of Commons reserved a place on its benches for "the honourable member for the Costa del Sol". An idea that was once deemed impossible now seems, thanks to President Sarkozy's decisionto introduce 11 expatriate seats into the French parliament, not just sensible but obvious. If the French of South Kensington deserve an MP of their own, why not the British of Málaga, Alicante and Tenerife?

About a million Britons live for most or all of the year in Spain. Of these, 352,000 have registered at Spanish town halls as being fully resident. Hundreds of thousands of Britons live elsewhere across the European Union. Those who left the country in the past 15 years (the vast majority) can vote in UK elections. Most, however, do not bother. This is hardly surprising. They must send their postal vote to the place where they last lived in Britain. People now living in Torrevieja, Marbella or Barcelona thus end up voting for candidates who are only interested in, say, the problems of Luton, Lambeth or Dumfries. That is not fair to them. What do they care, or know, about hospitals, post offices and planned ring roads a thousand miles away? It is also not fair to the people living in those constituencies. Read full article in the Guardian...