Schedule 7 - Voting and candidacy rights of EU citizens

Elections Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:45 pm on 21st October 2021.

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Amendments made: 8, in schedule 7, page 122, line 8, leave out sub-paragraphs (1) to (7) and insert—

‘(1) In section 2 of RPA 1983 (local government electors), in subsection (1)(c), for the words from “Ireland” to the end substitute “Ireland or—

(i) in relation to a local government election in England, a qualifying EU citizen or an EU citizen with retained rights, or

(ii) in relation to a local government election in Wales, a relevant citizen of the Union or a qualifying foreign citizen; and”.

(2) In section 4 of that Act (entitlement to be registered as local government elector), in subsection (3)(c), for the words from “Ireland” to the end substitute “Ireland or—

(i) in relation to a local government election in England, a qualifying EU citizen or an EU citizen with retained rights, or

(ii) in relation to a local government election in Wales, a relevant citizen of the Union or a qualifying foreign citizen; and”.

(3) In section 7B of that Act (notional residence: declarations of local connection)—

(a) in subsection (3)(e), for the words from “Ireland” to the end substitute “Ireland or—

(i) if the declaration is made for the purposes only of the registration of local government electors in England, a qualifying EU citizen or an EU citizen with retained rights, or

(ii) if the declaration is made for the purposes only of the registration of local government electors in Wales, a relevant citizen of the Union or a qualifying foreign citizen;”;

(b) in subsection (7)(a), for “by a relevant citizen of the Union; and” substitute “—

(i) in relation to local government elections in England, by a qualifying EU citizen or an EU citizen with retained rights, or

(ii) in relation to local government elections in Wales, by a relevant citizen of the Union; and”.

(4) In section 15 of that Act (service declaration), in subsection (5)(a), for “, or by a relevant citizen of the Union; and” substitute “or—

(i) in relation to local government elections in England, by a qualifying EU citizen or an EU citizen with retained rights, or

(ii) in relation to local government elections in Wales, by a relevant citizen of the Union; and”.

(5) In section 16 of that Act (contents of service declaration), as it extends to England and Wales, in subsection (1)(e) for the words from “a relevant” to the end substitute “—

(i) if the declaration is made for the purposes only of the registration of local government electors in England, a qualifying EU citizen or an EU citizen with retained rights, or

(ii) if the declaration is made for the purposes only of the registration of local government electors in Wales, a relevant citizen of the Union or a qualifying foreign citizen,”.

(6) In section 16 of that Act (contents of service declaration), as it extends to Northern Ireland, in paragraph (e) for “or a relevant citizen of the Union” substitute “or a qualifying EU citizen or an EU citizen with retained rights”.

(7) In section 17 of that Act (effect of service declaration), in subsection (1)(c), for the words from “a relevant” to the end substitute “—

(i) if the declaration is made for the purposes only of the registration of local government electors in England, a qualifying EU citizen or an EU citizen with retained rights, or

(ii) if the declaration is made for the purposes only of the registration of local government electors in Wales, a relevant citizen of the Union or a qualifying foreign citizen,

of the age appearing from the declaration and as not being subject to any legal incapacity except as so appearing.”’

This amendment makes technical amendments to provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1983, to clarify that changes affecting the rights of EU citizens to vote in local government elections in England do not affect the position in relation to local government elections in Wales.

Amendment 9, in schedule 7, page 123, line 6, after “elector” insert “in England”.

This amendment clarifies that section 49(5)(b)(iiia) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (inserted by paragraph 1(8)(a) of Schedule 7) will apply to England only.

Amendment 10, in schedule 7, page 123, line 11, leave out paragraph (b) and insert—

‘(b) in sub-paragraph (iv), after “elector” insert “in Wales”.’

This amendment clarifies that section 49(5)(b)(iv) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 will continue to apply, but to Wales only.

Amendment 11, in schedule 7, page 124, line 38, leave out “(5)” and insert “(4)”.

This amendment is consequential on Amendment 14.

Amendment 12, in schedule 7, page 125, line 1, leave out from “has” to “granted” in line 2 and insert “UK or Islands leave”.

This amendment and Amendment 16 introduce the term “UK or Islands leave” to mean leave under the Immigration Act 1971 to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Amendment 13, in schedule 7, page 125, line 4, leave out from “with” to end of line 7 and insert

“provision in residence scheme immigration rules for joining family members”.

This amendment expands subsection (2)(b) of inserted section 203B of the Representation of the People Act 1983 to cover provision in residence scheme immigration rules for the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man in relation to joining family members.

Amendment 14, in schedule 7, page 125, line 8, leave out from beginning to end of line 2 on page 126 and insert—

‘(3) A person falls within this subsection if—

(a) the person has UK or Islands leave but does not fall within subsection (2), and

(b) the requirements of subsection (5) are met in relation to the person.

(4) A person falls within this subsection if—

(a) the person does not require UK or Islands leave,

(b) the person is resident in the United Kingdom or any of the Islands, and

(c) the requirements of subsection (5) are met in relation to the person.

(5) The requirements referred to in subsections (3)(b) and (4)(c) are that—

(a) at all times since the relevant date, the person has either had UK or Islands leave or not required UK or Islands leave, and

(b) the person was resident in the United Kingdom or any of the Islands at all times after the relevant date when the person did not require UK or Islands leave.

(6) In determining whether the requirement in subsection (5)(a) is met in relation to a person, any period to which subsection (6A) applies is to be disregarded if the person was resident in the United Kingdom or any of the Islands during the period.

(6A) This subsection applies to any period after the relevant date during which the person required UK or Islands leave but did not have it, if at the end of the period the person was granted UK or Islands leave—

(a) in pursuance of an application made before the end of the relevant date, or

(b) in pursuance of an application made after the relevant date, where the leave was granted—

(i) by virtue of residence scheme immigration rules, and

(ii) otherwise than in accordance with provision in such rules for joining family members.’

This amendment replaces subsections (3) to (6) of inserted section 203B of the Representation of the People Act 1983 with two categories of “EU citizens with retained rights”: those with immigration leave who are not caught by subsection (2), and those who do not require immigration leave but are resident in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Amendment 15, in schedule 7, page 126, line 11, leave out from “having” to “includes” in line 13 and insert “UK or Islands leave”.

See the explanatory statement for Amendment 12.

Amendment 16, in schedule 7, page 126, line 28, at end insert—

‘“UK or Islands leave” means leave under the 1971 Act to enter or remain in the United Kingdom or any of the Islands.’

See the explanatory statement for Amendment 12.

Amendment 17, in schedule 7, page 126, leave out lines 29 and 30 and insert “In this section—”.

See the explanatory statement for Amendment 13.

Amendment 18, in schedule 7, page 126, line 40, at end insert—

‘(11) References in this section to provision in residence scheme immigration rules for joining family members are references to—

(a) paragraph EU11A or EU14A of Appendix EU to the immigration rules or provision replacing either of those paragraphs, or

(b) provision corresponding to provision within paragraph (a) in the Guernsey immigration rules, the Isle of Man immigration rules or the Jersey immigration rules.’

See the explanatory statement for Amendment 13.

Amendment 19, in schedule 7, page 130, line 1, leave out sub-paragraph (5) and insert—

‘(5) In Part 2 of Schedule 1 (modifications of provisions of RPA 1983 applied to local elections)—

(a) in paragraph 7, before sub-paragraph (2) insert—

“(1A) In section 4(3)(c)—

(a) in sub-paragraph (i), omit ‘in relation to a local government election in England,’, and

(b) omit sub-paragraph (ii) (and the ‘or’ preceding it).”;

(b) for paragraph 7A substitute—

“7A In section 7B—

(a) references to the United Kingdom are to be read as references to Northern Ireland;

(b) in subsection (3)(e)—

(i) in sub-paragraph (i), omit ‘in England,’, and

(ii) omit sub-paragraph (ii) (and the ‘or’ preceding it);

(c) in subsection (7)(a)—

(i) in sub-paragraph (i), omit ‘in England,’, and

(ii) omit sub-paragraph (ii) (and the ‘or’ preceding it).”;

(c) before paragraph 12 insert—

“11A In section 15(5)(a)—

(a) in sub-paragraph (i), omit ‘in England,’, and

(b) omit sub-paragraph (ii) (and the ‘or’ preceding it).

11B In section 17(1)(c)—

(a) in sub-paragraph (i), omit ‘in England,’, and

(b) omit sub-paragraph (ii) (and the ‘or’ preceding it).”;

(d) in paragraph 12, for paragraph (b) substitute—

“(b) in subsection (5)—

(i) in the first sentence, omit ‘, or entered in the list of proxies,’,

(ii) in paragraph (b)(iiia), omit ‘in England or entered in the list of proxies’, and

(iii) omit paragraph (b)(iv).”’

This amendment ensures that the amendments made by Part 1 of Schedule 7 to the Bill apply correctly for the purposes of local elections in Northern Ireland.

Amendment 20, in schedule 7, page 130, line 22, at end insert—

‘Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections) Order 2001

9A (1) In Schedule 1 to the Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections) Order 2001 (S.I. 2001/2599) (application with modifications of RPA 1983 etc), the table is amended as follows.

(2) In the right-hand column of the entry for section 49 of RPA 1983 (effect of registers), for the existing text substitute “In subsection (5)(b)(iiia), for ‘a local government elector in England’ substitute ‘an elector’”.

(3) After the entry for section 202 of RPA 1983 insert—

“Section 203A (meaning of ‘qualifying EU citizen’)

Section 203B (meaning of ‘EU citizen with retained rights’)”.

(4) After the entry for Schedule 4A to RPA 1983 insert—

“Schedule 6A (list of countries for purposes of section 203A)”.’—(Kemi Badenoch.)

This amendment makes changes, in consequence of Schedule 7 to the Bill, to the Northern Ireland Assembly (Elections) Order 2001 (Schedule 1 of which applies provisions of RPA 1983 in relation to elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly).

Schedule 7, as amended, agreed to.

Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Labour, Bethnal Green and Bow

The decision on Government amendment 7 will be taken when we consider clause 60.

Ordered, That further consideration be now adjourned. —(Rebecca Harris.)

Adjourned till this day at Two o’clock.