23 May 2019 – today’s press release

Turning EU citizens away feels like a deliberate attempt to silence voices

Responding to reports that EU citizens are being turned away from polling stations and denied a vote, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said:

It is an utter disgrace that so many EU citizens have been unable to vote in these historic elections.

This feels like a deliberate attempt by the Conservatives to silence the voices of our fellow Europeans.

Liberal Democrats will hold the government to account for this bureaucratic shambles and ensure that the voices of EU citizens are heard.

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11 Comments

  • Andrew McCaig 24th May '19 - 7:00am

    The Tory vacillation and brinkmanship certainly put a lot of pressure on electoral staff, especially where there were local elections. In Kirklees they were working weekends. The problem for EU nationals was collateral damage. The effect in Kirklees was less than 500 EU nationals eligible to vote yesterday compared with more than 5000 three weeks ago. How many of them wanted to vote here is unknown. The elections office here did contact them all either by letter or email, but the timescale was ridiculously short.
    Apparently the Electoral Commission recommended some changes to make things easier after 2014, but the govt did not do anything.
    I note that when i was a student and registered in two places, no one asked me to fill in a form saying in advance where i would vote. That seems like discrimination, but it is not new.

  • Richard Underhill 24th May '19 - 8:12am

    Again! Yesterday this was put down to local councils using cheaper postal services which provided a slow service. They might be fined, but who restricted their budgets?
    In 2016 British citizens living elsewhere in the EU were excluded by deliberated decision of the House of Commons.
    The key factor is that no-one should be allowed to vote twice in the same election.
    Those who have already voted will have been recorded.

  • David Evans 24th May '19 - 8:42am

    As I have said so many times before, we need to make sure we get noticed and keep getting noticed, but this sort of press release simply shows nothing has been learned.

    We all know that the Conservatives will do anything to win, including stab us (and the people we stand for) in the back at every opportunity. However, when it happens yet again, what do we say – “This feels like a deliberate attempt by the Conservatives …”

    No, No, No. No one will notice such a ineffectual statement. We need to say “We know that conservatives will do anything to win (or in this case lose not quite as badly) and this is another example of how they manipulate the voting system to favour their party”, and then we need to get Vince at every opportunity to say it loud and clear on the BBC and the rest of the media.

    Stop being so timid! If we don’t fight for these people and our values at every opportunity, our chance will be gone and there will be no-one else there to do it.

  • Arnold Kiel 24th May '19 - 9:22am

    Members of this Government stole the referendum by illegal financing and lies, they disenfranchised, detained and deported legal UK citizens to remote islands unknown to them (including several to their death), they send millions of citizens (including state employees) to food-banks to survive. What do you expect?

  • Steve Comer 24th May '19 - 9:55am

    But WHY were EU citizens in UK turned away?

  • No Simon, this is not nonsense. Remember when the Conservatives legislated to allow British Citizens who lived abroad to vote in UK elections. That was purely because most of them would vote Tory.

    Making things administratively more difficult for some sections of voters is an easy trick for them.

    It’s not a conservative conspiracy – it is conservative instinct.

  • Peter Martin 24th May '19 - 10:41am

    @ Arnold Kiel,

    “…….they [the UK Govt] send millions of citizens (including state employees) to food-banks to survive..”

    There is widespread agreement that conditions in the UK aren’t great at the moment. Accomodation is expensive. Many jobs tend to be poorly paid with little or no security. Many people are having to rely on food banks, as you say, even if they’re in work. We’re all critical of Govt neoliberal policies which create these type of problems.

    However the net migration flow from the EU to the UK is still strongly inwards. Presumably people don’t come here because they like the weather! They come here for economic reasons. Meaning that if it’s bad here it must be even worse in the rest of the EU!

    So please don’t start lecturing us about the effect of austerity economics, Mr Kiel. We are well aware of the social problems it creates. The combination of EU and UK austerity economics led to the Brexit problem in the first place.

  • It’s wrong, wrong, wrong……. but ……… I long ago came to the conclusion that the cock up theory of history was every bit as powerful as the conspiracy theory of history.

    Ms May is/was a great practitioner of the former.

  • I’ts easy to be paranoid when struggling against the powers that be. Is it incompetence? Is it deliberate? Is it deliberate incompetence? There is also a bad smell around how the whole postal vote was administered. Think the Electoral Commission is going to kept busy for a while.

  • Nigel Jones 24th May '19 - 4:38pm

    In the rush to organise the EU elections, there were many wrong decisions. Two of our members were almost denied a vote; they had applied in plenty of time for a postal vote, but the council chose to send out ballot papers first to those who were long-established postal voters and then send all the new ones in one later batch. That meant they would have gone away before receiving their ballot papers; they asked to collect or have posted, their papers immediately, BUT they were refused.
    They sorted it by getting me to be their proxy, but they nearly missed that because they first had to get and sign a form withdrawing themselves from the postal list and there were deadlines for doing that and for applying for a proxy.

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