European Parliamentary Elections

The government has made clear no money should be spent on the next set of European elections by UK authorities by making the following statement:

In a recent answer to Parliament, they said:

“Following the EU Referendum and the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017, 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.

Given this, the Government does not consider it is necessary or a prudent use of taxpayers’ money for Returning Officers and electoral administrators to make the usual preparations for the conduct of a European Parliamentary poll in 2019. The Government does 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.

In due course, the intention is to repeal the underlying pieces of legislation providing for the holding of European Parliamentary elections in the UK under the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. Once that Bill has Royal Assent, all associated legislation will be repealed through Parliament by means of a Statutory Instrument made under powers in the Bill. We estimate that not holding European Parliamentary elections will save British taxpayers at least £109 million next year; this is in addition to the cost of the British contribution to the EU budget” (Hansard, 14 May 2018, PQ 143730, link).

The Government has already written to every local authority Returning Officer to inform them of the cancellation of these elections. It is the Government’s position that it would go against our duties to taxpayers for any public body to spend money on such unnecessary administration.

The Electoral Commission is not accountable to the Government, but to Parliament, but I have written to the Electoral Commission to underline the Government’s clear advice to election administrators.”

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59 Comments

  1. eeyore
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    At last! The wheels spin, thick clouds of steam fill the air and sparks shower about, but the Brexit express is finally leaving the station. All aboard!

    • Nig l
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Nice analogy. Let’s hope Chris Grayling is not the driver!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      But there are plenty who would de-rail it if they could, either overtly or more subtly.

      Ever noticed the flag-waving pro-EU nutters on College Green who always seem to be in shot whenever the BBC conducts an interview?

      I wonder if they belonged to a ‘far right’ group, whether the BBC would be quite so content to let them occupy the background?

      Tad Davison

      Cambridge

      • Adam
        Posted June 7, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        Perhaps the EU flag-waving nutters are funded from the BBC props budget, & have to be kept within shot to justify the expense.

    • Hope
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Why would JR or any right minded person beleive May? She has never kept her word on any substantive issue regarding leaving the EU. It reminds me that she said six times publicly that there would not be a general election. She had a word with Junker and an election wa called, she failed to consult her cabinet, demanded to fleece us with more taxes for our care, back tracked, two in attrocities happened highlighting her record appaling policy record as Home Secretary to keep us safe while hammering the police into the ground. So do I beleive the above? No.i would not trust her any further than Blaire. In fact he is more Tory than her!

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      eeyore – May’s so-called negotiations have been like Pinning in the tail on the donkey.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Will “go against our duties to taxpayers” well at least half the things that the various parts of the state sector do “go against their duties to taxpayers”. A very gread deal is spent on propaganda or on one part of government fighting with another part. Or on leaftets of remainer lies Sent out by Cameron or on project
    fear reports. Or on dithering over runways for 20 years.

    • Excalibur
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      I see Philip Johnston says in an article in the ‘Telegraph’ today that “we are becoming a nation of timid bunglers”. I would suggest far from ‘becoming’, we are already there.

      Like Cameron before her, had she had the vision, Theresa May had the opportunity to achieve greatness. She spurned it in favour of half-baked compromises and ill-judged concessions to the dissolute EU. She will go down in history as an inept bumbler.

  3. stred
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Is it true that the pro-EU Electoral Commission, in between trying to prosecute Leave for sharing expenses while ignoring the far higher expenses of Remain, has budgeted for EU election expenses, presumably because the plot is for a very bad deal or a second referendum and stay in the EU.

  4. Nig l
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Further evidence that despite continuing to pay vast amounts to them, we will have no representation during any transition period. With Hammond and others wish for us to be a rule taker and that we traditionally have boilerplated any edict that comes out of the EU, where is our protection from being totally at their beck and call?

  5. Nig l
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Sorry off topic but it is being reported Cabinet Ministers, even david Davis are being blocked from seeing the White Paper on the terms of our leaving. Have they got something to hide?

    • Turboterrier
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      About par for the course considering what has happened up to now. Predictable.

    • BOF
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Nig l. Assuredly, but not surprisingly as Mrs May has never been open with the country since her coronation.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Yes. May wants to run it by Junckers and Barnier so it can be duly amended. Don’t you know we are ruled from Brussels.

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Nig 1

      “Have they got something to hide”

      Probably if past performance is anything to go by.

      The British people did their duty and voted for a policy have’n been given a choice, the politicians simply have another view so disregard it, democracy in the UK is now a joke.

      We have given back Independence to many of what were Commonwealth Countries and others over past decades, but given up our own.

      Quite farcical, and disgraceful at the same time.

    • margaret
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      who and where was it reported Nigel ?

  6. Bob
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    So that’s £109 million we won’t need to borrow then.
    There’s billions more that could be saved if the the govt would stop faffing around and go for a clean Brexit.

  7. Iain Moore
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Sorry off topic, but I keep hearing the Remainers throw up all sorts of ‘problems’ with border controls, saying we will need lorry parks across Kent to accommodate new checks. Why? We don’t need to halt lorries for any additional time for there is an hour and a half when the lorries are at a standstill and nothing is happening, when they are on the ferries. When not check them while on transit on the ferries?

    • Beecee
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      The French propensity to strike requires Operation Stack on a much too frequent basis on the roads leading to Dover. These problems exist now for the people of East Kent.

      I think that vehicles used to be checked during cross channel transit but these were stopped for ‘elf an safety’. Could be wrong however.

    • stred
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      The problem is that French customs are at Dover and British at Calais. The same may apply at Dunkirk. The A2 and M20 roads meet at the port and immediately go into customs and embarkment. There are some laybyes on the A2 and the motorway can be half closed, at great inconvenience, but if a lorry is delayed by French customs checks, then a big jam could build up. The French, unlike the Dutch and Belgians, have apparently done nothing to increase the electronic controls, as far as can be seen. Perhaps they can’t be criticised when our PM and chancellor have decided to do nothing either.

      Whether a free trade agreement is reached or not, once out there will have to be additional checks, whether electronic or not. This should have been addressed two years ago and the British and Irish customs have confirmed that, under EU policy, they started to upgrade the system so that lorries would be checked electronically between Eire and the UK and this will be ready by 2019. Apparently, all that is needed is cameras with numberplate recognition, as at the ferry registration just a little way towards the waiting parks, and a form similar to that already used for non EU trade. The chief of HMRC told the world that this updated system would cost £20bn pa, but this has been shown to be a huge overestimate in the recent article in Briefings for Brexit by highly qualified authors.

      At Calais there is more room to park any lorries which are refused an electronic pass. There is a French security check, then British customs, but still apparently no cameras capable of WTO compliance.

      To have reached this stage after 2 years could be mistaken for incompetence but it is more likely to be a deliberate attempt to make withdrawl, when offered a bad deal, impossible and giving Remayners an excuse for a second referendum and reversal, all while paying vast amounts to the EU. Many of these politicians have pledged loyalty to the other side and civil servants regard the EU as their authority.

      May must be got rid of urgently and a competitive order place for a customs check similar to that described by our head of customs for NI/Eire, which can be ready in time. It is already designed.

    • sm
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Why do Remainers and the media get all worked up about Dover? According to data published in January, the biggest cargo ports in the UK are as follows (in descending order):

      Grimsby & Immingham
      London
      Tees & Hartlepool
      Liverpool
      Felixstow
      and a long way behind at No 6, Belfast

    • acorn
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      The only things allowed on the car decks at sea are Dogs and Cats.

  8. Blue and Gold
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    The British taxpayer had to fork out around £145 million for a European Referendum in June 2016 to try to quell an internal battle in the Conservative party .

    The British taxpayer had to fork out around £135 million for a vanity project by the Conservative government having an unnecessary election in June 2017.

    Furthermore, the British taxpayer had to fork out £1 billion as a bribe purely for the sake of the Conservative party.

    We all know that the Conservatives love stealth taxes, but the bare faced cheek of the above really takes the biscuit.

    When the Conservatives start caring about the ordinary person in the street and not just themselves?

    • Edward2
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      I expect you would prefer to save money by not having any elections and referenda.
      Lets just go with what you want.

  9. Drachma
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Absolutely correct..we won’t be there so why should we need a vote😂

    • rose
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      No taxation without representation!

  10. Henry Spark
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I can smell your fear. Brexit is going to be stopped, as the lies pile up.

  11. Posted June 6, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Vassals never used to have a vote anyway.

  12. Prigger
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I wonder how much we will miss MEPs when they are gone, how will we manage?

  13. Posted June 6, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Glad ro hear it John and long overdue. A celebration is in order. 3 cheers for us who were brave enough to vote for Brexit.

    Hip, Hip…..

    John – a prudent use of taxpayers’ money and will save British taxpayers money –

    Please stop with this nonsense. I am neither a child or stupid and an expert in the government accounts.

    I don’t which is worse that rubbish or RBS will lose tax payers money. If you really are serious about brexit you have to stop this type of framing and propaganda. It is double entry bookkeeping, which is arithmetic. it’s not a complicated topic. Please learn to look left on the balance sheet that’s where the assets are.

    Everytime you use the words “taxpayers money”. I can’t take you serious and I know fine well you are not that stupid.

    • acorn
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      JR has to sustain the myth that tax payments fund the government’s spending.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 7, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Oh I never knew.
        Do they burn the money we send them?

        • acorn
          Posted June 7, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          No, it gets shredded in a spreadsheet column, when it gets back to the Treasury. They do burn the old notes. In the USA, you can actually buy shredded currency notes that were used for tax payments.

          Every Pound Sterling the government spends every day, is brand new and never gets recycled. That’s why it is called a FIAT currency economy.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 8, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            Everything in a balance sheet balances.
            It’s the profit and loss sheet that shows the real picture.

          • acorn
            Posted June 8, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            Edward2. Forget the Balance Sheet and look at the Cash Flow.

            Er … we stopped calling it the Profit and Loss sheet about a decade back. Excusable, as after all, you are a “leave” voter.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 8, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            Not on my company accounts we didn’t
            We still have a profit and loss account as part of our accounts.
            And very useful it is too.

            Your cheap slur on leave voters is not appreciated nor relevant at all.

  14. BOF
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    To justify having no representation, we need to be fully out of the EU. Customs Union, Single Market, ECJ and in complete control of our borders. If this is not the case, we will have been led down the garden path.

  15. JimS
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    No taxation without representation.

    Let’s stop paying the bills in March 2019 too!

  16. Adam
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Our Govt is making one of the many routine preparatory arrangements to cut unwanted worthless commitments. They should do so, with many others yet to be realised. Leaving a wasteful domineering former partner brings great relief, and their on-going deliveries of junk mail, gas bills & sour grapes should be similarly arrested at source.

    The EU, as the failed partner, is leaving us according to our direction. We are keeping our residence in Europe with our neighbours, but are taking back control to eject the EU & its oblique authority from our sovereign land.

  17. Nothing by Quarters
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    We can rely on the SNP to stage some kind of attention-seeking public spectacle in regard to the loss of their project gravy train EU. Haven’t a clue what they could do.

  18. Lifelogic.
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Justin Welby: EU is a dream for human beings and a great achievement.

    I suppose he thinks the same about all the other mad religions and climate alarmism too. Did he thing the evil USSR was just dandy too. Why is he so keen to kill any residual European democracy, personal freedom and the European economies. Does he like 50% youth unemployment, massive over regulation, over taxation and the likes?

  19. Posted June 6, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Remainers are saying the following point today.

    HM Gov still haven’t noticed that UK companies currently are permitted to be present and trade into rest-EU by virtue of Freedom of Establishment (art.49, 54 TFEU) and it is not covered at all by the Withdrawal Treaty.

    They are saying law firms all over the country are worried and highlighted the issue.

    1) in some EU jurisdictions the UK companies will simply ‘cease to exist’ and this means their contracts will be nullified and shareholders will have unlimited liability.

    2) in others barriers can be put up to further prevent UK companies trading, such as licence fees and large capital requirements.

    These are not hypotheticals – this did happen pre-Treaty rights. [Lawyers might like to read well-known cases such as Centros and Ueberseerring for examples of Treaty rights being upheld against just such attacks.]

    Now the City knows this and there running around trying to deal with it (just think about financing deals using companies investing in, say, Germany),

    There are 1,000s of UK companies who would be caught by this loss of Treaty rights.

    Do we have any news on this to counter it ?

  20. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I am sick of reading ‘the EU this’ and ‘the EU that’. Apparently we regularly break EU rules on air quality in our cities. So, I’d like my government to pass its own law with a stricter limit than the EU one. So we might, at some point, be able to say ‘we met the EU limit but we did not meet our own, stricter, limit’.

    I have a sense of a government in drift. What is it for? Just collecting the taxes and making a hash of Brexit. There are other things we need to be doing, like not slowly poisoning ourselves.

  21. John Thornley
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I may be unduly cynical, but to me that statement looks like Nero filing his LPs in alphabetical order, while Rome burns.

  22. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Dear John–I wonder if others were as disgusted as I was by the spoutings of some Labour MP’s earlier today–Opposing is one thing, as is disagreeing, but especially on something as important and conequential as Brexit one might have thought that those MP’s whose priority was solely anything, never mind what, provided it conflicted with, so might defeat, the Government could at least have kept quiet about their inglorious motives

  23. Paul H
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    But it considers it a prudent use of money to spend £50bn for nothing other than a vague promise from the EU that it will consider a trade deal. When there shouldn’t be any need to pay for the certainty of one, let along a distant possibility.

  24. Freeborn John
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    ITV is reporting that Theresa May and cabinet are going to agree tomorrow to a ‘backstop’ solution with the EU that would indefinitely see the UK remain in the EU customs union and single market. The sheer niavity of May and Olly Robbins in breathtaking as this at once would remove the threat of WTO terms applying to EU exports to the Uk and change the walk away position for the EU from one that it is not in favour of (the EU common external tariff applying to its exports of food and manufaturures) to one that it is in favour of, I.e. the Uk being a non-voting member of the EU. All UK leverage would be instantly lost with Brussels having no incentive to negotiate anything more favourable to the Uk than this subservient position. If May is going to throw Brexit away like this tomorrow then she has to be removed from office today. Surely the letters to the 1922 committee have to go in now or never.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Fat chance of that happening. The majority of the Gov is Pro-EU and the PM knows it.

  25. acorn
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    It is so sad to see a once great nation, falling apart, courtesy of eight years of laissez faire, neo-liberal, Conservative Party ideologues.

    Why the EU would bother negotiating a “withdrawal agreement” with a hostile member who is voluntarily leaving the EU Club, is not clear to me. Article 50 contains no tangible future benefits for the leaving member, only outline possibilities.

    I am unsure what benefits will accrue from Brexit, to the 99% who will certainly not share in the Spiv City of London’s money laundering and tax dodging profits; as London becomes the globalists’ casino for such activity.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 6, 2018 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      The last decade has seen the biggest increase in government interference and the biggest increase in directives regulations and new laws.
      Plus increases in overall taxation.
      Yet you think this is a period of neo liberal laissez-faire government.
      I’m amazed.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Article 50 only sets out how the withdrawal process is to be agreed. It is not an agreement within itself.

      You seem to have forgotten the New Labour years and boom and bust it caused. Typical of you Lefties.

  26. Freeborn John
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I just cannot understand why the letters to the 1922 Committee to initiate a leadership contest are not in. Does anybody think the Conservatives can win an election in 2022 with TM as leader on her track record of unrivalled incompetence in modern British history? If the party is planning to go into the election with a new leader then surely they cannot re-elect her this year. She has to go and may as well go now. If 1/3 of Tory MPs will coalesce around a single eurosceptic as prospective party leader then what can the Anna Soubry’s and Philip Hammond of the world do? They can run in the election but will be destroyed when the final two are put to the party membership. A eurosceptic such as Gove would win any election and even if Corbyn won it would be a real eurosceptic PM at last rather than the incompetent May, Hammond and Olly Robbins. In the name of god get those letters into the 1922 and let’s have done with her.

  27. Javk snell
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Yes why should you be included you’re gonna be out march 2019 so what are you bleating on about….it will be none of your business after then..losers..jack co cork

  28. Stevie Gee
    Posted June 6, 2018 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    It looks like The Great Betrayal is almost on us
    Seems like our Prime Minister has decided to ignore the majority and all us Brexiteers and just sell out.
    You must be shocked at the magnitude of the stupidity and the treachery.
    Would you consider being the stalking horse? It is clear that the current proposals are a betrayal of hundreds of years of history. Mrs May must be removed and within days.

  29. Iain Gill
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Like most people now I dispair at the quality of our ruling class. It’s not simply that one or two of our government are liabilities, it’s bigger than that, the whole way they are trained (PPE and Oxbridge etc) and selected is so obviously a complete failure. Dom Cummings latest blog post is part way along describing the situation. In the short term Mrs May must go.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      This is what nearly 50 years of being in the EU has done and touches on what I have been trying to say all along. Having the EU do most of our MP’s work has allowed people in to public office who are quite frankly useless. They are all bring publically shown up.

  30. Jock Hunter
    Posted June 7, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I am staggered by the incompetence of Mrs May. I am desperate to vote conservative but cannot whilst she is at the helm. She is weak weak weak and selling us out. Where is the brexit we voted for? Out of EU / SM / CU and no more fat payments to the corrupt anti democratic cartel.
    I thought we had escaped thanks to the referendum result but now realise I was a fool to believe in democracy. If we are cheated of our brexit as I now believe we will be, I shall never vote again in the post democratic UK.

    • Stevie
      Posted June 7, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      You and millions of others. I think Theresa May’s limited intellect is looking at the polls and saying ‘we will be fine’.
      The polls are wrong. Millions of us will not be turning out for the Tories ever again if they deliver a terrible Brexit, as they are currently trying to do.
      The Tory party are finished without a clean Brexit. We will stay at home and Corbyn wins the next election.
      McDonnell will change the constitution as soon as he gets power and even when Marxism wrecks our land, there will be no path to government again for the Tories once he has given votes to children, issued unsolicited postal voting to every household in the land, gerrymandered the boundaries etc.
      I think the Tory party have just days to sack May of every Tory MP and would-be MP will never again hold power. I find it amazing to see John posting about anything else.
      As the Metallica song goes: ‘Nothing Else Matters’. This is about democracy, which trumps all.

  31. Peter D Gardner
    Posted June 8, 2018 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    Dr Redwood, suppose the negotiations reach impasse and the EU misjudges its usual pushing against midnight? Some in the EU have already hinted at extending the negotiations.
    Secondly, suppose some amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill requires UK to continue negotiations on membership of the Customs Union, or the single market, or to maintain regulatory alignment or be subject to the ECJ. Would it then not be likely the Government would want UK to have the same representation in EU institutions as it does now?
    Reading the press gives me no confidence whatsoever that a Brexit that actually means Brexit will be delivered. Calling what has already been agreed ‘vassal status’ is precluded only by the brevity of the transition period. But Mrs May has asked for it to be extended. It seems to me that the deal, for which there will not be any alternative for which the government has prepared, will almost certainly be worse than full membership, let alone a prepared No Deal.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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