Cllr Jim Dickson, Cabinet Member for Voluntary Sector and Partnerships (job share), blogs about the importance of voting in this year’s EU elections…
I urge European Citizens to have their say in the upcoming European elections on 23 May.
These elections come at a critical time in our relationship with the European Union as the Tory government continues to make a mess of the Brexit process. These elections will send a message to the government of the type of future we want with the European Union.
Lambeth Labour is proudly pro-European. Lambeth Labour led the campaign in 2016 to Remain in the European Union, which received the support of 79% of Lambeth residents, making Lambeth the highest Remain area in the UK (with the exception of Gibraltar). Since the result of the referendum, we have fought to protect the rights of the more than 30,000 European citizens in Lambeth.
Lambeth introduced a passport return service, allowing EU nationals to keep their passport while they apply for British citizenship. We are also working with our voluntary sector partners to ensure that all EU citizens can secure their rights through the EU settlement scheme. We launched a significant communications campaign to help raise awareness about the need for EU citizens to register under the EU settlement scheme. This has included providing online guidance, digital engagement, informing partners, and publishing leaflets and posters throughout the borough. We are also offering an identity verification service at the Town Hall for applicants to the scheme aimed at those with iOs devices who are not able to access the scheme (only currently available on android platforms), and people who would benefit from a bit more support with the verification stage of the process.
Lambeth Labour passed a People’s Vote motion at October’s Full Council meeting. Until we get a second referendum, we urge you to make your voices heard in the European Elections in May. The deadline to register is May 7.
EU citizens who wish to vote in the EU elections in the UK must be registered to vote AND complete a European Parliament Voter Registration Form (UC1). The form must be signed on paper. It cannot be filled in online but can be scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to the Town Hall. It must be received by May 7. The council has contacted citizens who are currently registered with a pre-populated form for them to fill in and is working with partners to ensure this information is distributed widely. Posters and leaflets in libraries and other public places have further helped to inform Lambeth’s EU nationals.
Citizens of the following countries can register to vote in the UK at a European Parliamentary election by registering to vote and filling out the UC1 form: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Citizens of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Malta or Cyprus, are eligible to register to vote at all UK elections and do not need to fill out the additional form.
Make sure you have your say on the UK’s future in Europe this May.
Cllr Jim Dickson
Cabinet Member for Voluntary Sector and Partnerships (job share)