Polish citizens given post-Brexit voting rights in UK

The UK and Poland have signed a treaty that secures the right of British and Polish citizens to stand and vote in local elections in each other’s countries following the UK’s exit from the EU, Euractiv reports.

The treaty signed in Warsaw on 29th May makes Poland the fourth EU country to sign a voting rights treaty with the UK, following treaties signed with Spain, Portugal and Luxembourg last year.

The UK’s Foreign Office said in a statement the deal will cover “nearly a million British and Polish citizens who live and work in each other’s countries”.

The agreement is “proof of how the Polish government is determined that the rights of Poles are not weakened after the UK exits the EU,” said Poland’s Ambassador to the UK, Arkady Rzegocki.

After the UK left the EU in January, the voting rights of EU nationals in the UK and their UK counterparts across Europe was left unclear. The British government is seeking bilateral agreements with the EU-27 on the voting rights of EU nationals in the UK and their UK counterparts in the EU.

The same is also currently true for Europeans living in the UK. The franchise for general elections and referendums in the UK is limited to citizens of the UK, Ireland and Commonwealth countries, while existing UK law gives EU nationals the right to vote in the London mayoral and assembly elections.

The Scottish government recently announced that all citizens from abroad will have the right to vote and stand in next year’s Scottish parliamentary elections.

In 2018 the political party 'Duma Polska: Polish Pride' was founded in the UK with the stated aim of fielding up to 100 candidates in London in that year's May elections.

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