As the UK did not leave the EU on 29th March it now looks possible that the UK may participate in EU elections for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). UK nationals currently on the electoral role will automatically qualify to vote; but EU nationals have to complete an additional form in order to do so.
The potential confusion around the process by which EU Nationals need to register to vote for EU elections was raised in Parliament last week and Nigel Huddleston, MP for Mid Worcestershire, participated in the debate. Mr Huddleston highlighted the fact that thousands of EU citizens lived in his constituency and he asked Brandon Lewis MP, representing the Cabinet Office to clarify the process.
Mr Lewis confirmed that the process by which EU nationals need to register to vote in EU elections had not actually changed at all, since the last elections in 2014. EU nationals who wish to vote in European Parliament elections in the UK as opposed to their country of birth, however, must complete a ‘UC1’ form and sign a declaration stating their wish to vote in the UK and not their home country. This is to ensure that no-one votes twice in EU elections.
Assuming that the UK would have left the EU and there would be no need to participate in EU elections, the Government had encouraged EU Citizens to register to vote in their home country for the 2019 European Parliament elections. It is expected that many EU citizens in the UK will have followed this advice but as we may now participate in EU elections, they may wish to transfer their vote to the UK instead.
Mr Huddleston says:
“There are several thousand EU citizens living and working in my constituency and it is important that they are able to exercise their right to vote in elections. EU citizens can not vote in a general election, but they do have the right to vote in local elections as long as they are registered and also in European elections so long as they confirm that they will only be voting once (in the UK or in their country of origin). If they wish to vote in the UK and not their country of origin then they just have to fill in a simple form. I encourage them to do so. The deadline to submit these forms is 7th May.”
EU citizens living in Wychavon should be receiving the UC1 form in the post in the coming days - and it then needs to be submitted by midnight, Tuesday 7th May 2019. The form is also available on the Electoral Commission's website here: https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/255197/EU-citizen-European-Parliament-voter-registration-form-English.pdf
Anyone with questions about registering to vote, should contact the Election Services Team at Wychavon District Council via email: email@example.com or via phone: 01386 5654370