With your permission, Mr. Speaker, and that of the House, I beg leave to present a petition supported by more than 10,000 British citizens in Continental Europe. This petition relates to the wholly exceptional circumstances of the proposed referendum on this country's continued membership of the European Economic Community.Many British subjects now work in the EEC area consequent upon United King- dom accession, but not all the signatories are from the EEC area. The petition is also supported by Voluntary Service Overseas. The Government have announced special arrangements for Service voters in the referendum. The petitioners ask the House to make arrangements for them, as residents abroad, similar to those which are made, for example, by the Governments of New Zealand, Sweden and France amongst others. The Opposition have tabled an amendment to the Referendum Bill which will give effect to these proposals. The petitioners pray that the House of Commons do amend the Referendum Bill at present before the House so as to enable United Kingdom citizens resident abroad to cast their votes in the forthcoming referendum on United Kingdom membership of the European Economic Community.
I beg leave to present the petition.
To lie upon the Table.