Candidates and Voting Rights: Dual Nationality

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered at on 25 April 2024.

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Photo of Layla Moran Layla Moran Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Development), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to ensure that British citizens with lawful dual citizenship are able to (a) vote and (b) stand for elections in all parts of the UK and overseas territories.

Photo of Simon Hoare Simon Hoare Chair, Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

A British citizen with dual nationality can register to vote and qualify to stand in UK parliamentary, local and police and crime commissioners (PCC) elections as a British citizen, as long as they meet the other qualifying requirements, such as age and residency.

The online Register to Vote service includes information to assist individuals with more than one nationality. On the section of the service requesting nationality information, text below that question advises applicants with more than one nationality to include them all. The same guidance appears on paper application forms.

The Electoral Commission produces guidance for EROs to use when processing applications to register to vote. This guidance advises that when an application is received from a dual national, the ERO “should always process an application in accordance with the nationality that provides the higher level of franchise”.

Elections in UK overseas territories are determined by each territory and the Government has no plans to change this. Each Overseas Territory has its own rules and regulations regarding voting and candidacy eligibility.

The UK Government believes that the current fundamental structure of our constitutional relationships with the Overseas Territories is the right one. Elected governments of the Territories have powers to the maximum extent possible, consistent with the UK retaining those powers necessary to discharge its sovereign responsibilities.

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