OUR LOCAL VOTING RIGHTS IN SPAIN – how can you help?
As of 29 March 2019 and officially non-EU citizens, we probably won’t be able to vote in the Spanish local elections in May 2019 and those British residents here who have so ably represented us on Spanish local councils may well find themselves prohibited from standing in the municipal elections after our departure from the EU, despite being wanted on their local council and nominated in December / January.
This right to vote here has not been properly considered yet so we need to ensure that the situation is identified and solved well before the end of this year. It looks like Spain and the UK will need to sign a bilateral agreement which will enable us to vote in the Spanish local elections and vice versa post-March 2019.
Spain already has a bilateral arrangement with a number of other non-EU countries and we want them to agree the same arrangement for us as British residents in Spain. We have received no resistance to this proposal yet from any Council we have spoken to so how can you help?
Our British Ambassador has already raised it with the Spanish MFA and with London – No 10, Cab Off, DexEU and FCO.
We need to raise awareness and gain support for this here and time is pressing so please go to our website www.brexpats.es and copy and forward the letter written in Spanish to your local Town Hall.
Together we can make this happen!
TRANSLATION OF LETTER –
As you all know, on 29 March 2019 the UK will leave the EU. From that date, the British will cease to be citizens of the EU.
We are many British residents here in Spain and we want to continue with the right to vote in the local elections but as non-EU citizens, it is likely we will not be able to. Furthermore, there are many British Councillors in the Spanish Town Halls who represent us here and they will not be able to offer themselves for election.
Since 2011 Spain already has bilateral agreements with other countries – Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Columbia, South Korea, Ecuador, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago for whom reciprocal voting rights are recognized in the local elections and we want the same agreement and for it to be constitutionally recognised.
We need the help of all the Spanish boroughs to be able to achieve this and that is why we request your help.