EU Parliament Elections: Denial of Votes

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:37 pm on 4th June 2019.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office 3:37 pm, 4th June 2019

We have to be clear that the process was exactly the same as what was required back in 2014 and 2009. The legal structure for how the vote takes place has not changed.

On the deadlines referred to, I can remember having a discussion with the shadow Minister about whether it would be possible to change the registration date, but that would have run up against the clear requirement that we have to share the declarations

“sufficiently in advance of polling day”.

That means sharing them in advance of polling day, not just a day or two before, to allow registers to be completed in home nation states. To be clear, this process has been in place for some years.

I accept the point that obviously people did not necessarily expect the EU elections to happen, given the result of the referendum and the fact that 80% of the people who voted in 2017 did so for parties that had pledged to respect the referendum result—something we have not seen much evidence of on the Opposition Benches. The Electoral Commission will review the European elections, as it reviews any other electoral event, and will look into any issues raised. As a responsible Government, we will of course consider carefully what the Electoral Commission says.