Millions of EU citizens risk losing right to vote in EU elections


BREAKING NEWS

We are verifying reports from councils around the UK that Electoral Registration Officers are still accepting UC1 forms even though the registration deadline for the European elections has passed.

We will update this link accordingly as new information comes in.

 

Original story

Leading campaign group New Europeans has challenged the government to make immediate changes to the registration procedures to avoid the mass disenfranchisement of EU citizens at the EU elections which will be held in the UK on 23 May.

European elections: Government faces legal challenge amid fears millions of EU citizens could lose right to vote, The Independent, 25 April 2019
 

Speaking in London, Roger Casale, Founder and Secretary General of New Europeans said:

"EU citizens did not have the right to vote in the referendum. Now they face the prospect of losing the right to vote in the European elections.

This is totally unacceptable, the Government still has time to put it right and we demand that they now do so."

EU citizens living in another member state of the EU can choose to vote in their member state of origin or in the member state where they reside.

In order to prevent EU citizens from voting in both member states, the government issues an additional registration form (UC1) to EU citizens which they must complete by 7 May .

Local councils are not under an obligation to send EU citizens this form and it is feared that many have not yet done so. Even those councils that have sent the form may have done so too late.

New Europeans has written to David Lidington MP, the Minister for the Cabinet Office to demand action.

The group has called on the Government to send polling cards to all EU citizens on the electoral register and to make the UC1 forms available at all polling stations on polling day itself.

Failure to take such steps could lead to action by New Europeans in the form of a request for judicial review.


Roger Casale went on to say:

"It is of profound importance that everybody who is entitled to vote is indeed able to exercise that right. How could it be otherwise in any self-respecting democracy? And yet the Government is about to oversee an election in which millions of potential voters may be excluded due to an an inexcusable failure to inform EU citizens of their rights."

The Government's embarrassment is further deepened because the reforms which it promised to  the registration system for EU citizens following a similar debacle in 2014 have not been delivered.
 

"At the last European elections," continued Mr Casale "we did not become aware of this issue until it was too late to do anything about it.

This time however we have raised the alarm while there is still time for the government to act - it would be wise for it to consider doing so."


In the meantime, New Europeans is continuing to campaign for EU citizens to register for the EU elections - the necessary procedures and forms can be accessed and downloaded from the New Europeans website in many of the EU languages.

 

For more information about the New Europeans campaign, click here

To join New Europeans as a member, click here

 

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