The UK's Electoral Commission has issued a press release calling on EU27 citizens not to use websites which allow EU citizens to complete the entire two stage registration process online.
The Electoral Commission has referred the websites to the Information Commissioner.
This is in our view a disappointing and disproportionate reaction which will have the effect of preventing thousands of EU citizens from registering to vote in the European elections who might otherwise have had the chance to do so.
However, in the light of the Electoral Commission's ruling we have no choice but to suspend our campaign to promote the registration of EU citizens via these websites.
Please note however, that there is no guarantee that Electoral Registration Offices will accept the online registrations via these websites.
If you are an EU citizen, the Electoral Commission advises that you continue to follow what we regard as its complicated and confusing two-stage current procedures .
This involves registering as an elector online via the Government website and then returning a supplementary form to your local Electoral Registration Officer.
We have set out how to do this, with links to the Goverment website and to the Electoral Commission website where you can download the supplementary form below:
OUR ORIGINAL ARTICLE
For the first time ever, EU citizens will now be able to complete the whole registration process to vote in EU elections in the UK online.
This ground-breaking development comes just days before the close of the registration period for the EU elections on 7 May and follows two weeks of negotiation with The Electoral Commission.
Technology expert Joshua Carrington, whose team developed the app said:
" We are delighted that the Electoral Commission has given us the go ahead to use this app but we are concerned that there is now so little time left before the close of registrations.
The failure to register hundreds of thousands of EU citizens for the EU elections could have serious democratic implications and the legitimacy of the results of the election."
To be sure of registering on time please complete this form by 11pm on Tuesday, 7 May at the latest.
New Europeans and other groups representing the rights of EU citizens such as the European Movement, the3million and others have been working tirelessly to make sure that EU citizens are registered properly.
For EU citizens, registration involves a two-stage process.
First, EU citizens need to register online through a central government website so that their name is recorded on the election register by their local authority.
Secondly, EU citizens need to complete a second form, called the UC1 form in most parts of the UK, to confirm that they will not be voting in any other EU member state.
It is the lack of timely information about this second form which has created the risk that EU citizens will be disenfranchised (as 900,000 or more were at the last European elections in 2014).
The new App makes the whole process much simpler as New Europeans member Joan Pons Laplana explains:
Commenting on the latest developments, Roger Casale, Founder and General Secretary of New Europeans said:
"It is a scandal that neither the Government nor the Electoral Commission has taken timely action to make it possible for EU citizens to vote in the EU elections in the UK and they must now be held to account for what amounts to a dereliction of duty.
Unless the Government takes remedial action now, it is certain that up to one million EU citizens will be excluded from the EU elections.
Not only does this represent an unconscionable failure to build a more inclusive and representative democracy, it will also have a serious material impact on the outcome of the elections."
New Europeans has written to Rt.Hon. David Lidington, Minister of the Cabinet Office to raise the alarm and to propose two actions the Government could no to mitigate the situation
An Early Day Motion has been tabled by Mike Gapes MP and a cross-party group of MPs to further push the Government to take action.
Commenting on the EDM, Roger Casale said:
"We urge all who care about our democracy to write to their MP urging them to sign EDM 2357 so that all EU citizens will have the right to vote in the European elections."
To find out more about the campaign, why not join New Europeans as a member?