, 12 tweets, 2 min read
1. A short further reflection on the vexed question of UK participation (or non-participation) in the European Parliament (EP) elections .
2. If the UK is still an EU Member State when the new EP begins to sit in July 2019, there should be UK participation in that new EP.
3. The normal way of complying would that requirement would, of course, be to hold elections over the period when the next EP elections are due to be held (23 – 26 May 2019).
4. If there is political opposition to doing so, it becomes necessary to explore a legal ‘workaround’ – that is, an alternative lawful way of achieving such representation (see earlier tweets).
5. For the 2014-2019 parliamentary term, the distribution of seats was set by European Council Decision 2013/312/EU (available here: eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/…).
6. The position is now complicated by the fact that European Council Decision (EU) 2018/937 was adopted in careful anticipation of Brexit and reorganised significantly the composition of the EP for the 2019-2024 parliamentary term.
7. That decision is available here: eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/….
8. Article 3(2) of Decision 2018/937 states expressly that if the UK is still a Member State at the beginning of the 2019-2014 parliamentary term, the seat allocation in Decision 2013/312/EU applies until the UK’s withdrawal ‘becomes legally effective’.
9. If and to the extent that there is any desire, in any part of the political process, to keep open the option of asking for a ‘longer’ Article 50 extension, it is therefore necessary to have a coherent plan for what to do about the EP elections.
10. That is needed both domestically in the UK and in the rest of the EU. The EU-27 do need to know the basis upon which each Member State is holding its elections in May 2019.
11. I offer no further comment here on what to do or how to do it. Fortunately, should advice and ingenuity be required, there is ample competence and knowledge at the Bar and in academe to provide it.
12. Ends – please feel free to RT.
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