Rights of EU Citizens
The changes you'll see
EU citizens will no longer automatically be entitled to register, vote, or stand for election.
These changes will apply to:
- all local elections and referendums in England;
- elections for council and combined authority mayors; and
- Police and Crime Commissioner elections.
Two groups of EU citizens will keep these rights: 'qualifying EU citizens' and 'EU citizens with retained rights'.
Qualifying EU Citizens
These are EU citizens who:
- come from countries which have reciprocal agreements with the UK
- who have 'leave to remain' in the UK, or who do not need 'leave to remain' in the UK
Currently this means citizens from Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, and Spain.
A reciprocal agreement means that the same rules apply in both the UK and that country. For example, a Spanish citizen in the UK could vote or stand for election in the UK, and a UK citizen in Spain could vote or stand for election in Spain.
EU Citizens with retained rights
These are EU citizens who were living in the UK before 1 January 2021 (in other words, before the UK left the EU).
When the changes come into force
We expect that the changes will come into force by spring 2024.