Are you registered with a UK constituency? EU referendum

We have recently been advised by the Embassy that the procedure for British Residents overseas to vote in General Elections has been modified.
According to the latest information these rules will be applied for the referendum on U.K. membership of the EU.
Register now (if you qualify!) to ensure that you can vote then!!
To register as an overseas elector you must have been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years. You will also need to know your National Insurance number and date of birth. If you don’t have a National Insurance number you can still register, but you may have to supply more information to show who you are.

To be eligible to vote, British citizens living overseas must have been registered to vote in a UK constituency within the last fifteen years. For the first time in a UK General Election, those eligible can register online at Those registering to vote no longer need to have their signature attested by Consular staff, provided they have a National Insurance Number (NI). Where an NI number cannot be provided or the personal identifiers fail verification, and where the Electoral Registration Officer cannot verify that person’s identity using local data, the applicant must provide an attestation to establish their identity. The deadline for registering online to vote is midnight on Monday 20 April 2015. Those who wish to register for a postal vote will need to register some time before this deadline. The earlier the better. The good news is that it does not take long!

You can also link to the Cabinet Office video with the Minister Sam Gyimah:

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Two Consular Prevention Campaigns

The Consular Winter Campaign is directed at British winter tourists spending their holidays in the Swiss mountains. David Moran, British Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein explains that “with our Top Tips to Stay Safe on the Slopes” we hope to make as many people as possible aware of specific dangers linked to winter sports so that their trip remains fun and trouble free. You can read more in this pdf.

The British Embassy in Berne is working together with Geneva Airport and the transport police of SBB, the Swiss Federal Railways to help British travellers keep their passports and belongings safe when travelling in Switzerland. More details are to be found in this pdf.

150216 picture sbb campaign

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Solar Impulse Round-the-World Flight

The Solar Impulse team has just announced the details of the Rounde-World flight of Solar Impulse 2 starting 1 March 2015. You can see all the details of this great Swiss adventure on their Website.

Your BRA Council has decided to finance one of the solar cells to support their crowdfunding effort. If you are interested in supporting this venture, go to their crowdfunding page.

There is a Press Conference in Abu Dhabi by Betrand Piccard and André Borschberg of the route to be taken by  Solar Impulse 2 leaving from Abu Dhabi. In the run-up to the conference there is a brief account of the transport of the Solar Plane from Payerne to Abu Dhabi!

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We have had a request from a British student who lived in Switzerland for 12 years to complete a questionnaire to help her with her dissertation about British migrants living in Switzerland!
We will publish the results when they are available.

Just complete the form at this address. There are 22 questions and it will take you less than 10 minutes.

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The McKay Interviews

BRA member Mike McKay is part of the team resuscitating World Radio Switzerland.

You can listen to his latest interview with the head of Investment Strategy for Barclays Banks – Hans Olsen on his website. (about the third screen!).

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Changes in UK Taxation for non-residents

We have been made aware of the potential changes for those of you who pay tax in the UK.

There is a petition against this change and you can find all the details in our Information Portal in Section 4.

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Winter Lunch 2015

Details of this event have now been included in the web page, and you can also register using the form provided.

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Replacement for the Handbook

As we informed you previously, we have discontinued the Handbook, so beloved of many of you, because it was increasingly difficult to find contributors to keep it up-to-date.
Moreover, the sort of information it provided is now readily available on the web, if you can find it!
We have finally done the work to assemble in one place, largely following the organization of the now-defunct Handbook, as much of this information as we have been able to identify. Let us assure you that this is an ongoing effort and we will be only too happy to hear from you if we have missed anything, even better if you can give us the URLs of the information we do not have. We expect much of this to be from our new Commonwealth members, with whose Embassy websites we are less familiar.

Just go to the menu item “Information Portal” and select the item you are interested in from the drop-down menu.
The Information Portal page itself will give an explanation of how it is organized and also gives a list of the chapters together with the date at which we last updated it!

Max Bishop / Nigel Coombs


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The Chairman’s Blog

Council Members and I were delighted to see such a good turnout for the AGM and Spring Luncheon on 10 May. This was an encouraging indication of a healthy membership interested in the wellbeing of the BRA. A write-up of the events and a résumé of the main points discussed at the AGM can be found in this Bulletin. The main issue was revision of our Articles of Association by abandoning the notion of associate membership and widening full membership to accept all members of Commonwealth countries and Ireland. Continue reading

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Membership Directory

Your Council has just taken the decision to publish the Directory for the first time since 2007! All members will receive  a paper copy in alphabetical order (surname, given name). For those members for whom we have an e-mail address we will also send a PDF version. This will be sorted alphabetically by surname but will have a second version sorted  by Region / surname.Publication will be in August, because we have decided not to ask for advertisers, which would delay issue by 2-3 months!

In future we will issue the PDF version every year. The printed version will be issued once every 3-4 years.

If you would like to keep up-to-date, inform our Secretary of your e-mail address. If you haven’t got one then get one!

Nigel Coombs


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