Sunday, September 24, 2023

The UK-Spain agreement allows residents to vote in local elections

The deal, signed by the governments of the UK and Spain in January 2019, will allow Spaniards residing in the UK and Britons residing in Spain to continue voting in local elections where they live after Brexit took effect this month of March, specifically on the 16th

This is according to the Monday edition of the Government Gazette (BOE), which shows that the effective date was the day after the date on which the last notification of compliance with the relevant internal procedures was received.

Four years ago, the executives of both countries signed this bilateral agreement to allow residents to vote in local elections in their city of residence after the United Kingdom left the European Union (EU). Great Britain and Northern Ireland

More specifically, the main objective of this agreement is to ensure the voting rights of UK and Spanish nationals after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (EU) establishes the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament and in local elections in the state in which they reside, under the same conditions as nationals of that state.

The UK will not be the first non-EU country whose nationals will be able to vote in local elections in Spain—and vice versa—as Spain already has agreements with, for example, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Ecuador, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago.


With a view to the next local elections on May 28, the Articles require British nationals to have three years’ legal and uninterrupted residency. This allows all UK nationals who were registered to vote in the 2019 local elections to take part.

The announcement of the last local elections in May 2019 in both Spain and the UK raised the issue of reciprocal voting and standing in these elections after the UK actually left the EU.

In this way, the agreement decided to guarantee the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in order to avoid reducing the rights currently enjoyed by British and Spanish citizens and to preserve the ‘status quo’.

This is the first bilateral treaty signed by Spain that provides for the right to stand as a candidate, since the other twelve agreements currently signed on the subject only provide for the right to vote.

A recital has been included in the text to ensure the continuity of UK local politicians until the end of their mandate, even after the UK has left the European Union. There are around thirty councilors of British nationality in Spanish municipalities.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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