January 18, 2019 / 12:09 PM / 6 months ago

EU says Britain would need to vote in European elections if no Brexit before July 2

BRUSSELS, Jan 18 (Reuters) - The European Commission indicated on Friday that Britons would need to choose their representatives to the next European Parliament if the country were to stay in the EU beyond the first sitting of the new assembly on July 2.

Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told a regular news briefing that the EU executive arm had not received any request from London for an extension of the March 29th deadline to leave the EU and therefore such a discussion was theoretical.

“We ... as the guardian of EU treaties, suggest caution with any suggestion that the right of EU citizens to vote in the European Parliament elections, according to the rules that are applicable, could be called into question,” Schinas said.

“We have a legally composed European Parliament which requires directly elected MEPs from all member states at the latest on the first day of the new term of the new parliament, which this time is the second of July,” he said.

“This is the legal situation. As guardians of the treaty we would prefer to stay within the applicable legal order,” he said. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski)

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