Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas message from Harry --- who?

A Christmas Message from Harry Shindler*
The right to vote is an important and a basic element in a democratic society.
Men and Women have died to win for us the right to vote. Wars have been fought to win back the right to vote when voting was cancelled by a dictator. There is of course the right to vote in the U.K. – but sadly not for all British Citizens.
Those who decide to reside outside the U.K. and within the European Union, are denied the vote after 15 years.
The campaign by the British Ex-pats, in France, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Cyprus, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, and Italy for the right to vote, with the removal of the 15 year limit, has won the recognition and support of the European Commission.
This note is to all British Ex-pats who have not reached the 15 years limit and hence still have the right to vote.

We, who cannot vote, are appealing to you to use your vote, to register to vote via the Town Hall at your last residence in the U.K.
One of the reasons given for refusing us the vote, is the low percentage of voting by those who can still vote.
With every best wish for the New Year !
*Harry Shindler, Italy, December 2013  Tel:- 00 39  (0)735658446  -93 years old - Fought to free Italy in the Anzio Beach-head 1944.  Worked tirelessly to commemorate the fallen. Proudly British - Yet... and yet.. and yet agian..  the British Government refuses to recognise his achievements.  All he asks for is to be allowed to vote! We must not let him down.
We would like to join with Harry in this message -
Cave (
  & Graham Richards(
To register to vote---
or write to ‘The Electoral Registration Officer’  - at your last known Council Offices –
“I want to register to vote. Please send me the necessary forms”"
 also sign this petition
Circulate to Accumulate.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ten Points for ACTION

From the Publicity officer VOTES FOR EXPAT BRITS campaign
Members of the Votes for Expat Brits Campaign Team continue to get asked what can be done to keep promoting the campaign. Here are ten points for consideration:-
  • Step up writing to both the four quality UK publications plus the many various English language expat publications who already give us both good coverage and support;
  • We need to encourage the younger professional/career minded expats and to do that we need to make much more use, "as a matter of priority," of Twitter and Facebook as this is how they normally prefer and like to communicate with each other and not necessarily by the more traditional form of e:mail.
  • Make more use of pro active forums like SFN - France. If anybody knows of any others I would very much appreciate receiving details.
  • We still need to keep networking ourselves and it is essential that we forward all mails to friends/family/friends
  • The Electoral Commission is running an online registration and system testing campaign targeting British citizens living overseas in the countries with the highest number of British citizens; Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, UAE & USA. The online campaign will begin in mid February 2014 and it is essential that we boost the registration of the number of overseas voters and get ourselves involved.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Defenceless people - derided and lampooned

 [To go to Index and start click here.]

This cartoon appeared in the Daily Mail.
You can visit the deplorable original here
A bigoted campaign, driven by the Daily Mail, and some other journals, certain internet forums and joined by shallow minded Politicians is exacerbating antipathy against British pensioners who have chosen to live abroad in Europe and further afield.  It reminds me of the early publicity campaigns in Germany in 1934, which derided and stereotyped innocent Jewish shopkeepers. They were scapegoats for the appalling austerity and inflationary economy of that Nation at that time.
The British pensioner, 70, 80, even 90 years old has little defence against a similar caricature today. Many fought for freedom against the Nazi machine to bring freedom to Europe. 

 See what he is doing now at 92.  Such a man echoes the true spirit of Britain, not the mean minded spirit that oozes from the cartoon.
Read from the following link about this aged man of HONOUR.
Consider again the spite generated against his age group by the Daily Mail and the cartoonist!
Does not your heart sink a little?

Throughout Europe and in Britain many active pensioners are volunteers in their communities. In Europe they spread the good qualities of Britishness.  Yet the Daily Mail is seeding and then feeding a hate against them, blaming the austerity on them. I never did imagine that any newspaper in Britain could perpetrate such tawdry yet dangerous rubbish.

One prays that the people of Britain will not be so easily led. But we have evidence enough that shallow bigoted minds even within the Government itself  is tending in that direction.   Read any cheap-minded forum site and you can read comments from residents in Britain damning those of us who have retired - even against those pensioners living in Britain. Their 'free' T.V.s and bus passes.

To the left is a picture of normal life of pensioners in winter in mid France.
We have at present the European Commission to protect us.  But let us be warned, if  Britain pulls out of the European Union, we are not safe from this insidious campaign against us and the distortion of the truth within Britain.
Do not assume that in Europe today your future is safe.  The British Pensioner today lives in mainland Europe because of treaties signed between the UK and the EU.  We can only be sure of our future if these treaties remain firm.   WE MUST be represented. We must take action.
The pensioners must Stand UP! and be counted -  They must not be so dishonoured.

What you and your friends can do...and what you do WILL make a difference

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Published in Poland

The article below was written by Professor Tim Clapham of Warsaw University, translated into Polish and published in the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, a quality broadsheet newspaper.
It is an example of  the influence British people  have with their neighbours.
If the British Government could honour the British Abroad. Then they in turn could exhibit a pride in their relationship with the 'homeland' . Reward would be great for Britain.
The article is written to be read by Polish people.

Give us a vote your Majesty!
What would you think if you heard of a country that deprived its citizens of a vote merely because they have lived outside the national boundary for a certain period of time. For example depriving a Polish citizen living in Berlin of that democratic right because he or she had lived there for fifteen years, That citizen may have retired to Berlin to be close to their children yet their pension may continue to be paid by the Polish government. Perhaps  the citizen fell  in love and moved to Berlin to live with a partner. Perhaps there were no jobs in their part of Poland and they were effectively forced to move. The number of reasons why people may choose to live outside their own country are many and in today’s world it no longer represents a fundamental break with one’s home country.
 Indeed no significant democratic country considers it acceptable to deprive citizens of the fundamental right to elect a Government world purely on the grounds of a citizen living outside the national boundary. Governments have to accept responsible for the rights of their citizens as they  are ultimately responsible for determining that persons status in the world. Or most Europeans would think so. After all what is the difference between living in France or the UK for a UK citizen, it is even easier and quicker to get to London from Paris than it is from Edinburgh to London.
Oh Dear, It’s the Brits Again
There is however an exception and that is the United Kingdom. A country that boasts of its democratic credentials, contains the mother of Parliaments, has a rather nice Queen and very good beer ( now that proves I am English through and through,  what other nationality likes warm bitter beer with no bubbles).  Yet next year I will deprived of the vote as I will have lived outside the UK for more than fifteen years. I should mention that I pay taxes and pension contributions  to  the UK, I will receive a UK pension, I have close  family living in England (sons and grandchildren if you are interested), I have economically contributed to the UK in very many ways over the years. And of course many aspects of my life are controlled or influenced by decisions of whatever bunch of politicians control Parliament. Inheritance, decisions to go to war, access to health care, divorce, bank accounts, financial services, travel rights and so on and so on.
Last week one of the indomitable fighters for the right to vote Margaret Hales visited Warsaw drumming up support for a campaign to secure full rights for British citizens abroad ( Margaret Hales MBE (just in case you thought that the British Empire was history, that tag means Member of the Order of the British Empire) received the honour for public service in that part of the Empire known as Milton Keynes which is a new town just outside London. , She and her husband decided to retire to Spain and would you believe she will now be deprived of a vote, so even the favour of the Queen doesn’t stop you being deprived of a fundamental democratic right.
The Charm of Royalty
Incidentally Margaret told us a rather amusing story about the time she received the Honour. She and other recipients were in the rather fine art gallery in Buckingham Palace prior to receiving their award. They were addressed by a flunkey wearing metres of gold braid who informed them of the protocol such as what to call the various royals who would be present etc. It was around the time of the Charles, Diana imbroglio and the country had taken sides those for Charles and those for Diana. They were informed that Prince Charles was doing the honours . In front of Margaret was a rather strong willed female peace fighter from Northern Ireland who, on hearing  that Prince Charles would be honouring the recipients, went ballistic threatening to reject the award , tell Prince Charles what was what etc. She was calmed down, went in to receive her honour  and came out of the ceremony a changed person telling everybody just what a charming, thought and lovely man he was. Clearly they have some magical Royal dust to sprinkle around at such times.
Ignoring the disenfranchised voteless
But back to the fundamental  injustice being perpetrated by the UK. There are over 5 million British borne citizens around the world with some 1.5 million in Europe. Now not all will necessarily want to have a continuing relationship with the UK but all will be disenfranchised citizens after fifteen years unless they decide to adopt the nationality of their host Country. It places British citizens in a dilemma which is normally resolved by their ignoring their loss of political rights rather than adopt a new nationality.   In a globalising world therefore we have a growing number of citizens of a democratic county without a vote.
This is not acceptable and it is not purely an academic issue. The lack of political rights means that the interests of millions of people are being ignored.  In a couple of years there will be a referendum as to whether the UK will stay in or leave the EU. Many of the 1.5 million will have no say in something that is of vital concern to them and their families. The present government is currently attacking the rights of overseas British citizens to receive a winter fuel payment (it was an indirect way of increasing what is one of Europe’s lowest state pensions) they are also attacking the health arrangements for those citizens. It is worth remembering that many Brits like to retire to Europe after a lifetime in the UK as their pensions can go further and they represent a net saving for the British Health and Social security systems. Yet this and the significant contribution of UK citizens abroad to the UK economy can  be safely ignored by our British politicians as those overseas citizens are politically voiceless.
It need not be the case. French overseas citizens even have direct Parliamentary  representation and a number of other EU states are set to follow this route. Even Poland may face this demand in the not distant future. It’s a logical corollary to the free movement of citizens in the EU and the fluid global world in which we now live. For effective democracy a precondition  has to be the right to vote wherever you live and however long you have been there.
So my Polish readers the next time you hear a British politician talking about democratic rights and the importance of free and fair elections in some unfortunate part of the world agree, but remember to put some decent perfume on your handkerchief to obscure the stench of hypocrisy.
And so back to Margaret MBE who is fighting the good fight to secure the vote for all of us Brits abroad. She is following in the noble tradition of her ancestor Emile Pankhurst. Over one hundred years ago Ms Pankhurst fought to secure the vote for women. It is fitting that her descendent continues the fight this time for British citizens abroad. And it will be equally successful because the right to vote is fundamental for any country that considers itself a democracy. Good luck with the campaign Margaret.

Tim Clapham  14th October 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Health costs and Democracy for Citizens in Europe

More comment on the Government Green paper
Concerning support for health costs in the EU
An example of why the Britons Abroad  in Europe and elsewhere  need Democratic Representation.
I appreciate the comments by readers of my circulars which have caused me to consider a further analysis of the situation on the costs of health care in Europe.
It involves a digging out of information in the EU regulations.
The consultative Green Paper is entitled
“Sustaining services, ensuring fairness”
A consultation on migrant access and their financial contribution to NHS provision in England.”
1.   This Green Paper was issued in July with a date of August 28th for the return of observations.  This is my immediate concern - The situation is unacceptable that people most affected by certain aspects are given no direct knowledge of this green paper, and no time at all to respond!

2.  The title gives no indication whatsoever that the contents also concern the health costs of British pensioners in the EU.  It is only by rare chance in October that I learned of its existence and quick action ensured that the contents were widely known.   

These concerns were particularly and rightly publicised (especially by The Connexion in France) because of the effect on the health costs of the ‘early retirees’ who would have their support for health care in the wider EU removed. 

Since then I have received comments which result in the analysis below.
The British State Pensioner abroad and treatment under the NHS.
The essence of this analysis is the ability of British State pensioners otherwise resident in other States of the EU to receive treatment under the NHS in Britain.
*See further note below for other British State Pensioners in the rest of the World.
At this present time – if you are a British State Pensioner and have at least 10 years of residence in the UK, but you happen now to be resident abroad, you are NOT entitled to free treatment under the NHS.  However many of us have received treatment in the UK.  Maybe only an eye test, sometimes more. 

[Confusion on this is introduced by the fact that the EHIC –health card – is issued by the UK to all British State Pensioners in the EU.  This card requires the UK to pay the health costs of those travelling to another EU State, which is not their resident State! Thus questioning the situation with regard to visits of pensioners to the UK.
Confusion also exists with the EU law which enables any citizen, retired or not, to travel to another State for treatment if that treatment is not available in one’s State of residence.]

The Green Paper in Annex A makes similar observations to some of the above.  It elsewhere suggests that in future the costing of  health for State pensioners in their resident  State within the EU could be thus affected:-
Clause 6.13  The benefit to the UK of allowing state pensioners to return for their planned treatment would be a discount of 5% from payments to all countries to whom we make lump sum annual payments for our pensioners. “

The second phrase underlined relating to annual payments, refers to the EU Regulation 987/2009  and  to Annex 3 of that regulation.
This lists the States claiming payment for health treatment on the basis of fixed amounts. They are:- IRELAND, SPAIN, ITALY, MALTA, THE NETHERLANDS, PORTUGAL, FINLAND, SWEDEN, UNITED KINGDOM
It is to the countries listed above that the proposal to cut the fixed amount by 5% would apply.
All other countries claim the actual amount  and would not be affected. – e.g France, Belgium, Germany, Cyprus. etc in the EU…  The actual amount is the amount which the State of Residence has to find – not, as I have ascertained, the actual amount for the treatment as charged to the patient pensioner.  So in France the French State asks of Britain something considerably less than the full cost of the treatment to the patient.
The underlined phrase ‘planned treatment’ seems unnecessary. What is the significance of that phrase?

Then we need to look at EU Regulation 883/2004.  Annex IV to that regulation lists certain States where their Pensioner Nationals can return to their native land for health treatment [there is no reference to ‘planned treatment’ nor in the referenced article 27 here] – they are BELGIUM, GERMANY, GREECE, SPAIN, FRANCE, ITALY, LUXEMBOURG, AUSTRIA and SWEDEN.
Note that the United Kingdom is not listed.  The Green Paper would one supposes result in the UK being included in Annex IV. 
One of my correspondents has informed me that this is indeed what the Government is considering.
The result would be that qualifying Pensioners in the EU beyond the UK  could return quite legally to receive treatment under the NHS  and the confusion and uncertainties which has previously existed would be removed.

*Other qualifying  British State Pensioners resident elsewhere in the World would also benefit from a change in the regulations enabling treatment under the NHS on their occasional visits.  

The relationship of all this to the need for Representation in the Westminster Government.
If we had someone to represent us in Government then this rigmarole would not be necessary.  The DoH could consult with the representatives who would seek opinion from certain groups within each country.  A real democracy could come into being.
It is quite wrong in my view that the Government can produce such a ‘green paper’ and be apparently quite incapable of making appropriate contacts with the people most affected.
This is also so patently obvious with regard to the proposed Referendum.  This would affect the British Abroad in Europe very closely and yet are not in line to be consulted.
It is essential that we are Represented.

The address of the DoH is
International Healthcare Team
Department of Health
3rd Floor
Wellington House
133-155 Waterloo Road
London SE1 8UG
(Remember that the consultation on the green paper closed on August 28th 2013)
The green paper is viewable at

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Referendum in/out Europe

The in or out referendum of the European Union
British expatriates could find themselves even more cut off from Britain.
Could the electorate in Britain cast one and a half million adrift in Europe?
Will Britain drift away from Europe?      
The majority of the  1.5 million Britons in continental Europe will not be able to vote in any in/out Europe referendum mounted in Britain.
If they could vote they could well ensure that Britain stays in Europe
If they can’t vote then the electors in Britain (and Britain alone) could vote Britain out of Europe.
David Cameron wants a Referendum in 2017 if he is re-elected. . 

Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor has tabled an amendment to the Referendum Bill  currently before Parliament    
If he succeeds then this referendum will take place next year in 2014.
And the chances of the Britons in Europe having any say at all just about vanish.

If you believe that this is anti-democratic and the Briton in Europe should vote then add your name to the petition below.
 Oddly - the Bill would give special dispensation for members of the HOUSE of LORDS to vote - but no consideration at all for the disenfranchised Briton Abroad.

The British National abroad who does so much promoting true British values abroad is made to feel a foreigner in his own land.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Anger amongst the Britons Abroad

The continuing saga of the Winter Fuel Payment. (WFP)
Let’s get it straight. 
  • There are quite a few pensioners in France and beyond, who need the money.  They went to France when the £ was strong; and when they got a reasonable return on bank and building society savings.  They came to enjoy more space in cheaper housing than was possible in the UK. They had the guts to appreciate another culture.  They might have thought that the climate would be better and generally it is so with clearer skies and longer winter days.  But they found that winter temperatures were colder, though winter may be shorter.  If they came here more than 15 years ago the WFP did not exist.  When Gordon Brown introduced this old-age benefit, they were at first excluded.   As time has passed, they find the £ has shrunk in value; interest on British savings has dwindled to almost zero; inflation has risen; taxation of income and property in France has risen.  . 
    If they wanted to change their British Bank or Building Society because the banks have bust, they couldn’t and still can’t.
Apart from the French  prices and tax inflation, the British Government is responsible for much of this. It is oblivious to the effect on Britons Abroad of their policies, and frankly is not interested in the Briton Abroad because most of us have no voice in Parliament. Most politicians feed on ‘power’. Their power comes from the votes of the people.    Even the simple ability for Britons abroad to vote was shrunk by the Blair Government from 20 years to 15 years.  But at the time few British residents in Europe took any interest in voting and in those politicians who control their finances.  They turned their eyes away, saying “I’m not interested in politics.” It is still a common theme. Misfortune has come upon them. 
The British Government knowingly or not, gives an unwitting reaction – “They are not interested. We can ignore them.” 
Result – A Briton Abroad is a Briton Ignored. 
  • The European Commission is on our side.  Without it, we would be at the mercy of an uninterested, even antagonistic British Government The EU Commission encourages Britons to be good citizens of Europe. Many British politicians do not just ignore us, they dislike us.  This attitude is encouraged  by parts of the British media which have long been anti!   
  • It was the EU Commission who forced the hand of the UK to pay the WFP to all.  Now the British Government want to cut it away again by using deceitful , dishonest fiddling with statistics.
  • Some Britons Abroad are fighting back, and have always done so, but till now have been few in number.
  • Here is two exchanges between one of us and the Civil Service in the Department of Works and Pensions.

The effect of the British Government on the Briton in Europe
The Government wriggles in trying to impose a temperature threshold on the payment of the Winter Fuel Payment to Britons in Europe, an ‘old-age’ benefit under EU law.
The Government wants our support to maintain their power and yet denies us the ability to vote for or against them after 15 years non-residence in the UK.
The Government taxes those who at one time worked in some form of Government service (such as our soldiers) and then denies them any voice.
The Government makes it difficult to move  money around British Banks by making it impossible to open a new account in the UK.
The Government achieves an exchange rate so low that  many British pensioners reliant on their savings have seen a great drop in income.

You can help.
To help us on our way to achieve some success sign the following petitions and write to certain politicians.

For voting/Representation
And to leave a comment below - It is  not possible on the official petition.
Write to the politician  Chloe Smith  Minister for Political Reform c/o....

For a proper payment of the Winter Fuel Payment
Write to a politician Steve Webb, Minister for Pensions c/o.....

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Britons Abroad in Europe meet with Mme Viviane Reding, a Vice President of the EU

Brussels 5th September 2013
A delegation of Britons Abroad meet with Mme Viviane Reding, Vice President of the European Union and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.
The list of all the participants representing all political persuasions, other interests, and the EU commission can be viewed here.

A personal view of the meeting.

 Right -Mme Reding exchanges views with Harry
 Shindler and Sir Roger Gale

Mme Reding holds in her hand the booklet “EU Citizenship Report 2013 
You can read this document by going to the following link ----

Fourteen Britons from France, Italy, Spain, Belgium and London (they included representatives of all three political persuasions along with other interest groups) met with Mme Reding and four EU Commission officials at the Commission offices in Brussels. A Greek citizen was there as an observer and we had a supporting communication from an Irish expatriate group.
Sir Roger Gale MP led our delegation. Harry Shindler, the 92 year old initiator of this meeting encouraged us to meet him to back his demand for his vote to be given back to him by the British Government. Sir Roger exposed the situation that the Briton abroad had the vote taken away after 15 years and asked that the Commission might intervene with the British Government.  The response from Mme Reding was that this would infringe the British subsidiarity clauses in this field
When Mme Redding moved on to another engagement, her Deputy Head of Cabinet, Mme Viviane Hoffman remained with the other officials and we sat round the large oval table in the cabinet room.  Outside in the streets of Brussels the temperature was 33 degrees.  Inside the debate was measured.  .
Harry was disappointed with the Commissioners problem with subsidiarity especailly since later the subject of the Referendum was raised and again the issue of subsidiarity  checked the debate.  That the majority of Britons abroad in the EU may not vote in a referendum which is fundamental to their welfare is an appalling malfunction in any democracy.
Yet as the debate developed I became more and more pleased.  The spirit of the EU was running with us.

Mme Hoffman seen left with Harry Shindler made it abundantly clear that the EU Commission was delighted to have this delegation there.  She use the phrase “honoured that Mr. Shindler” should come to Brussels.  It could not have been more plain. 
This discussion from the start entered the  European sphere – Why else were we there? 
Eight nations of the twenty eight States in the full European Union plus the extra EAA members do not give full democratic rights to their nationals in the rest of Europe.  Britain, Ireland and Denmark are the three significant larger States with this situation
It became increasingly apparent to me that our British  delegation was most important. 
Is the message –‘Britain needs to show the way forward in the matter of Democracy in Europe’ Where Britain goes the others will follow.‘?
This seemed to be a seminal moment.

My time came to speak.
I watched the four people team of the Commission
as I spoke.
“What is a Nation?” I rhetorically asked.   It is the people, not the physical geography of the towns, hills and rivers.  I held my hands like cups to each side and said ‘Democracy is a two way process. On the right the citizens look to the national Government for support and help. On the left the Government should be proactive and look towards the citizens in the European countries to see how they are faring. The British Government does not’.  I saw the two men of the EU commission pick up their pencils almost simultaneously and write. I was surprised and pleased.
We need to be proud of our National Government as the Government needs to show pride in the Briton Abroad.
I spoke of the confused nonsense that can arise from muddled Double Taxation agreements, drawing attention as an example to the varying position of Nurses pensions in Germany (taxed in the UK) and France (not so).  The pencils again moved.  
The meeting drew to a close and perhaps cheekily, I jumped in with a sentence relating to an earlier plea of Harry Shindler’s on the same theme which marks and honours his lifetime endeavours.  “On March 3rd 1944 whilst Harry was fighting at Anzio, the house I lived in was blasted by a stick of German bombs. Let us hope that on May 8th 2014 [Victory in Europe day] we can, as Harry desires, celebrate our victory in this cause with the Churchillian V sign”.
(Author Brian Cave –
Please circulate to accumulate – Britons Abroad must unite.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Winter Fuel Payment -- Dynamite.

Praise to The Connexion for digging out some facts
Below --- Copied from The Connexion - The English journal printed in France and also online.
August 30th 2013

"French tropic link to UK fuel pay ban
French tropic link to UK fuel pay ban
THE FIVE French overseas departments - all of which have tropical climates - were included in the calculation of France's average winter temperature which was then used to determine whether British expatriates should continue to receive the winter fuel allowance, Connexion has found.

The Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, the Indian Ocean islands of Réunion and Mayotte and French Guiana in South America were all included. Méteo France data is only available for the first three online but shows an average winter temperature of 26C.

The islands' temperatures were used with those of mainland France to gain an average which was then compared with 5.6C for the south-west of England. If the resulting figure was higher - as was the case with France - the country was deemed "too hot" and the payments will be stopped.

This may explain why Italy, which does not have any overseas tropical territories, was deemed acceptably cold while France was not.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said the DOMs were included because they are considered to be part of France and therefore the EU - so Britons who live there could claim the winter fuel allowance. Connexion is searching for information on how many Britons live in these departments.

If you believe WFA should not be stopped for Britons in France sign the petition at

This is open to UK residents or nationals - if your non-UK postcode is not accepted, leave that section blank.
- See more at: "
Comment -- As Mark Twain is purported to have said 
"There are lies, damned lies and statistics!"

It is astounding that any official could believe the temperature figures resulting from this data, relate it to the mainland of France  and then claim that the 59600 British pensioners resident in France are living in a hot country!  The Government statistics show that only 30 British pensioners live in the tropical French overseas territories.
Yes do sign the petition above  - It mounted about a  thousand signatures the day the Connexion published.  But I urge you also to think a step back from this .
WHY does the British Government ignore the British Pensioner abroad - Simply because we do not count! We do not count because we are not counted.  We have no representation in the Government of the British Nation. We have no votes that can be counted!
So please sign another petition
and add your comments to this site 
And PLEASE - Circulate to Accumulate

THE FIVE French overseas departments - all of which have tropical climates - were included in the calculation of France's average winter temperature which was then used to determine whether British expatriates should continue to receive the winter fuel allowance, Connexion has found.

The Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, the Indian Ocean islands of Réunion and Mayotte and French Guiana in South America were all included. Méteo France data is only available for the first three online but shows an average winter temperature of 26C.

The islands' temperatures were used with those of mainland France to gain an average which was then compared with 5.6C for the south-west of England. If the resulting figure was higher - as was the case with France - the country was deemed "too hot" and the payments will be stopped.

This may explain why Italy, which does not have any overseas tropical territories, was deemed acceptably cold while France was not.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said the DOMs were included because they are considered to be part of France and therefore the EU - so Britons who live there could claim the winter fuel allowance. Connexion is searching for information on how many Britons live in these departments.

If you believe WFA should not be stopped for Britons in France sign the petition at

This is open to UK residents or nationals - if your non-UK postcode is not accepted, leave that section blank.
- See more at: