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Solace blog

21st May 2018

A message about European Parliamentary Elections

Following the EU Referendum, the UK will cease to be a member of the European Union on 29th March 2019. At that point, we will no longer sit at the European Council table or in the Council of Ministers, and we will no longer have Members of the European Parliament. We will therefore not be taking part in the European Parliamentary elections in 2019 which are currently scheduled to be held from 23rd to 26th May 2019. The intention is to repeal the key pieces of primary legislation providing for the holding of European Parliamentary elections in the UK under the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. Following Royal Assent of the Bill, we intend to lay before Parliament a Statutory Instrument made under powers in the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill that will repeal the associated legislation.

The UK will cease to be a member of the European Union on 29th March 2019 and we will therefore not be taking part in the European Parliamentary elections in 2019. Given this, Ministers do not consider it is necessary for Returning Officers and electoral administrators to make the usual preparations for the conduct of a European Parliamentary poll in 2019.

Ministers do not intend to make an Order setting the date of the poll for the European Parliamentary elections in 2019. We also do not intend to undertake the usual preparations for Information Exchange between the UK and the Member States in respect of EU citizens (including UK citizens) living in another Member State.

Capital Items – Equipment depreciation

In light of the clarity on the EP election scheduled for May 2019, we have considered the recent run of changes to the schedule of polls. We have decided that because the apportionment payment in relation to capital items that would have arisen in May 2019 cannot now be paid (we will not be able to draw down any monies from the Consolidated Fund for a poll that is no longer taking place), we will allow an apportionment payment for June 2017.

Money for capital items was already included within the 2017 MRA as they were based on the 2015 settled amounts which all included payment for such items. Therefore, if you are underspent and have not claimed for capital items already you can use the headroom for that payment. However, if you are already overspent and have not claimed an apportionment for 2017, that will mean that you have already used the allocation within the 2017 MRA and in that case, we will need to consider whether any additional overspend is justified.

We recognise that it has been an unusual period of time in the last few years in terms of significant polls and we think that this approach is equitable in ensuring that Returning Officers are not impacted by both additional unscheduled polls and the cancelled scheduled poll.

Obviously, claims have already been submitted for June 2017 and we are not asking all ROs to amend and resubmit their claims. Instead, a short form can be completed to include the capital items not already claimed for and this will need to be signed by the returning officer. If, however, you have already included on your claim an element for 2017 you do not need to complete the additional form.

Please contact the Elections Claims Unit on 01603 704567 to confirm that this applies to you and for a form to be supplied. In recognition of the fact that some administrators have just had local elections and might be on annual leave in the coming weeks, the deadline to submit the completed form will be the 29/06/2018. Where the cost of capital items has already been included in the claim, these will be processed on the information already provided and there is no need to complete the additional form.