Dear Republicans Overseas,
I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of our leadership, to express my deepest appreciation to our members and partners who have supported us during the election cycle and attended our Inauguration Watch Party.
The inauguration of President Donald Trump marked a highpoint in Republican electoral fortunes – we now control the White House, the Senate and the House.
Closer to home, I can report that Republicans Overseas UK has new leadership, a close working relationship with the national Republican Party, and a clear vision on how to grow its membership and make a difference to the lives of so many Americans living and working overseas.
I’d like to share two thoughts on this vision with you now:
I. Republicans Overseas UK aims to provide a home away from home for all American conservatives living throughout the United Kingdom as well as our British supporters and friends.
According to a Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) report released last year, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Israel and Japan have the largest numbers of eligible overseas American voters. By their estimates, London alone has over 60,000 eligible overseas American voters, and the UK as a whole has roughly 300,000 (not including military personnel).
Republicans Overseas UK currently has more than 1,600 American and British supporters throughout the United Kingdom, and nearly 300 of our supporters have offered to volunteer with efforts such as voter registration.
We have two local chapters, in Oxford and St. Andrews, and hope to support the establishment of several more this year.
As a conservative woman living abroad, it has been very rewarding for me to find a group of like-minded Americans who share interests in policies that matter to overseas voters and in supporting conservative candidates and causes.
We will work hard over the next year to build up our membership and further engage with our current membership through a number of events and initiatives that we will advertise on our website and on social media.
II. Republicans Overseas UK supports our global leadership’s mission to repeal FATCA and support Territorial-Based Taxation for individuals.
In 2010 the Democrat controlled Congress passed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which requires foreign banks to report on the accounts of their American clients and subjects millions of Americans living overseas to an unprecedented abuse of power by the IRS.
As a result, some foreign banks are refusing to work with Americans, and there have been several reports of Americans unable to open bank accounts overseas or being asked to take their investments or pension funds elsewhere.
The effects of FATCA are particularly burdensome due to the U.S. policy of Citizen-Based Taxation. The U.S. is the only country in the world - apart from Eritrea - which uses ‘CBT’ or Citizen-Based Taxation over ‘RBT’ or Residence-Based Taxation. Effectively this has become a patriot-tax and has led to thousands of Americans renouncing their citizenship.
Republicans Overseas globally, with its 54 country chapters, is working to raise awareness among party leaders and policy makers about the adverse impact of FATCA and Citizen-Based Taxation on all Americans living overseas. The Republican National Committee also adopted a resolution that our organization proposed to repeal FATCA.
This month we released a White Paper on Territorial Tax Reform for individuals, which can be found here. Consistent with the proposals being considered for corporate tax reform, we propose worldwide taxation for individuals being replaced with a territorial system.
* * * * *
We have accomplished so much, but our hard work has really only just begun. Republicans Overseas UK has witnessed impressive growth over the last few months, and we will face numerous challenges as we work to scale-up our campaigning. We need more leaders and innovators with different backgrounds, a collaborative culture, and an ability to adapt to new developments. We also need to plan for new costs often associated with scaling up, and be able to secure resources to cover these costs. I have great confidence in Republicans Overseas UK and know that with our current team and base of support, we can meet these challenges.
This is the first letter to members I’ve published since my election as Chair last September. Thank you again for investing in us and being a part of our team. We are grateful for your trust in us and what we will accomplish.
Chair, Republicans Overseas UK