British nationals in the Netherlands should still sign up to vote in May’s European elections even though Brexit may happen before then, EU officials have confirmed to DutchNews.nl.
Europeans have until April 9 to register for the EU parliamentary elections on May 23, if they want to vote in the Netherlands rather than their country of origin.
‘Everything depends on what happens on April 12, when Brexit is set to happen,’ a spokeswoman for the European parliament in the Netherlands told DutchNews.nl.
‘If Brexit is delayed to after May 22, British nationals will be able to vote in the EU elections. But if there is no delay and Britain leaves on April 12, British nationals cannot vote,’ she said.
However, there is some confusion in British community groups about voting rights after Utrecht city council wrote to local British residents telling them they would still be able to vote.
‘Nomination day takes place on the 9th of April. If the United Kingdom leaves the European Union after this day it will not effect your right to cast your vote,’ the letter said.
A spokeswoman for Utrecht council told DutchNews.nl that they had taken the decision based on a briefing from the home affairs ministry. ‘That letter makes it clear that official list of who can vote is fixed on April 9, and therefore British nationals will be able to vote,’ she said.
DutchNews.nl has contacted the Voting Council for comment.
British prime minister Theresa May has said she would try to delay the April 12 exit date, which has already been delayed from March 29.
According to the Financial Times, British officials have already begun making preparations to hold European elections.
According to CBS figures, some 316,000 European adults will be allowed to vote in in the European elections in the Netherlands. This total excludes some 42,000 British adults who are set to lose the right to vote because of Brexit.
To register, potential voters have to fill in a special form, known as Y32, and either post, or email it, to the local authority where they are registered.
This article has been updated to reflect the information from Utrecht city council.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation