When are the European elections and will the United Kingdom have to take part? How many MEPs does Britain have?

BRITAIN is on course to leave the European Union in the middle of next month.

Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 10:50 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th March 2019, 10:56 am
Demonstrators pull a cart with a doll resembling British Prime Minister Theresa May during a Peoples Vote anti-Brexit march in London on March 23. Picture: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

The United Kingdom was originally scheduled to leave on March 29 however the Prime Minister agreed a delay until April 12 if she is unable to get her deal through Parliament. 

However with MPs seemingly at an impasse and the likelihood of a deal for leaving the EU seeming unlikely at the present moment, and the House of Commons against a no-deal Brexit, a longer delay remains on the cards. 

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Demonstrators pull a cart with a doll resembling British Prime Minister Theresa May during a Peoples Vote anti-Brexit march in London on March 23. Picture: AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

But if Britain was to agree a months-long Brexit delay with European leaders it could mean that voters will have to participate in European elections this year. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

When are the European Elections? 

The 2019 elections to the European Parliament are set to take place between May 23 and May 26. 

Hundreds of millions of voters from the 27 member states – 28 if Britain is includes – will vote to elect MEPs. 

There are currently 751 MEPs but that is set to decrease to 705 if the United Kingdom has left the European Union ahead of the elections. 

Will Britain have to take part in the elections? 

Currently the United Kingdom would not participate in the vote as it is set to leave the EU before the election. 

However if Brexit is delayed beyond May 23 then voters in Britain will have to take part in the European Parliament elections. 

So currently as things stand you will not have to take part in the election but with the Brexit picture continuing to shift this could change over the coming weeks. 

How many MEPs does the Portsmouth area have? 

Britain has 73 MEPs currently however that would decrease to 0 if the country was to leave the EU before the elections.

The South East region, which includes Hampshire, has 10 MEPs currently. 

These are: 

- Nigel Farage 

- Daniel Hannan

- Janice Atkinson

- Nirj Deva

- John Howarth

- Diane James

- Richard Ashworth 

- Keith Taylor

- Catherine Bearder 

- Raymond Finch