European Parliament: Elections

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 30th April 2019.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that local authorities are sending out postal ballots for the elections to the European Parliament to eligible UK voters in EU countries in sufficient time for (a) voters to return the postal ballots and (b) for those ballots to be counted.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

It remains the Government’s intention to leave the EU with a deal and not participate in European Parliamentary elections.

In preparation for the delivery of elections, Returning Officers, who are statutorily independent, will work to deliver the polls, including through following guidance issued by the Electoral Commission.

The Electoral Commission’s guidance advises Returning Officers to prioritise postal ballot packs that are to be sent overseas in order to allow as much time as possible for the ballot pack to reach the elector and to be completed and returned. The Government has agreed to fund International Business Response Licences for the return of postal votes from overseas and has met with Royal Mail and British Forces Post Office to ensure there is effective planning in place for the dispatch and return of postal votes from overseas including those for service voters based overseas.

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