Confirmed: United Kingdom to gain an additional MEP - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Confirmed: United Kingdom to gain an additional MEP

Thursday, 22 July 2010
Studying the Strasbourg Seating Plan (Photo: European Parliament/Novinite)The number of UK Members of the European Parliament is set to increase by one to 73, the Europe Minister David Lidington has inadvertently confirmed.

The adopted Lisbon Treaty envisages 18 additional MEPs joining the ranks in Brussels and Strasbourg which will increase the current overall number of 736 to an eventual 754, and many expected the UK to receive one of these additional places.

This has now been confirmed, although now we must wait to learn how the additional MEP will be selected, and from what electoral region he or she will represent.

The confirmation came in a written response to a tabled question by fellow Conservative Priti Patel regarding the Transitionary Protocol that was agreed last month by the EU's ministers.

Here is Mr Lidington's answer, as recorded by Hansard:

"The transitionary Protocol concerning the composition of the European Parliament is a technical change to the Treaty relating to numbers of MEPs. It allows 18 extra MEPs provided for by the Lisbon Treaty to take their seats now rather than in 2014. The UK receives an extra MEP as a result.

"The Protocol does not determine how, or from which UK European parliamentary electoral region, the UK's additional MEP should be elected; rather that the MEP should be elected using one of the methods set out in the Protocol. Therefore, no prior consultation of the Electoral Commission was needed.

"Details of the process to be undertaken to elect the UK's extra MEP will be announced in due course, and the Electoral Commission will be consulted fully at the appropriate time, as required by the relevant legislation."

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