EU Citizens right to vote in the UK

Another issue, will EU citizens lose the vote in local elections at 11:00 31st Dec 2020. The answer is it depends. Here are my notes.

The inheritance of pre-Brexit political rights is the remit of the withdrawal agreement. This states that UK citizens cease to be EU citizens as at the withdrawal date and that EU citizen cease to have political rights in the UK at the end of transition.

The right to vote is regulated by member state powers and so the UK government proposes to sign reciprocal agreements with the EU27 to allow EU citizens in the UK and Brits abroad in the EU to vote, presumably in local elections only.

The UK permits citizens of Eire, Malta and Cyprus to vote in the UK and has signed reciprocal agreements with Spain Portugal, Luxembourg and Poland. Elections postponed from 2020 will permit qualifying EU citizens to participate as at the date of the proposed elections.

The Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd have granted votes to all habitually resident foreigners.

See also

  1. EU and UK citizens’ rights after Brexit, by the European Parliament June 2020, which suggests that EU citizens, normally resident in the UK before 31st Dec 2020 will be able to vote i.e. that retention of the vote is the status quo.
  2. EU voters in England and Wales: Rights, regions and registers, House of Commons Library

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