EU citizens' voting and candidacy rights

EU citizens will no longer automatically be entitled to register to vote and stand for election. The changes apply to local elections in England and Northern Ireland elections for Police and Crime Commissioner in England and Wales.

Two groups of EU citizens will retain their rights:

  • 'Qualifying EU citizens' from countries with reciprocal agreements, and who have leave, or do not require it, to remain in the UK. This currently applies to Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, and Spain
  • 'EU citizens with retained rights' who were residents in the UK before 1 January 2021 -  before the UK left the EU

When do the changes come into force?

We expect that the changes will not come into effect until after the May 2024 polls.