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Local Government: Elections

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN 175803, tabled on 8 October 2018

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether EU citizens will be eligible to (a) stand as candidates and (b) vote in local government elections in England and Wales in 2019 in the event that the UK leaves the EU (i) with and (ii) without a deal.

Answered on

1 November 2018

The issue of electoral voting rights is part of the wider issue of the rights of EU citizens and UK expats that need to be considered during the Brexit preparations. The rights of both sides should be taken together. The UK pushed hard in negotiations for reciprocal voting rights for EU citizens in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU, but they will not form part of the Withdrawal Agreement. The Government has made clear that we will seek to discuss this issue bilaterally with individual Member States with a view to protecting the rights of UK nationals resident in those Member States, where they will not otherwise continue.

We do not anticipate any changes to the current UK primary legislative framework for candidacy and voting rights being made before the May 2019 English and Northern Ireland local elections. The Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly are responsible for their own franchises.

To provide certainty to prospective candidates, it will be the policy intent of the UK Government that candidates who are validly nominated and elected at or before the May 2019 local elections in England and Northern Ireland should be able to serve that term of office in full, notwithstanding any wider changes to voting and candidacy rights in the future.

Answered by

Cabinet Office