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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 7 April, 2020

Ireland will get two extra MEPs because of Brexit

There will be 73 vacant MEP seats after the UK withdraws from the European Union.

UKIP Members of European Parliament distinguish themselves with the Union Jack flags, March 2013.
UKIP Members of European Parliament distinguish themselves with the Union Jack flags, March 2013.
Image: Schifres Lucas via PA Images

IRELAND IS AMONG a number of EU member states that will get additional seats in the European Parliament to fill those left by British MEPs.

Of the current 751 MEPs, 73 are held by representatives of the UK; it’s been recommended that 27 of these be filled by current members and 46 be kept vacant.

Ireland will get two new MEPs as a result, raising their representation from 11 to 13. France, Italy and the Netherlands will get three new MEPs each, and Spain will get five extra MEPs (from 74 up to 79).

Austria, Croatia,  Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Sweden all have been allocated one additional seat.

Germany already has the maximum number of MEPs allowed: 96.

Due to the 46 seats being kept vacant for future member states, the European Parliament would shrink from 751 to 705 MEPs if and when the UK leaves the EU.

The changes were approved by the Constitutional Affairs Committee yesterday.

Co-rapporteur of the committee Danuta Hübner said “One of the main challenges of this report was on how to deal with the legacy of Brexit.

“We felt the need to respond to the fact that a big Member State is leaving, so we understood the importance of a smaller EP, which is able to continue working for the good of the EU’s citizens.

We hope that the new composition of the Parliament will reinvigorate citizen’s participation in the European democratic process.

During that discussion, MEPs also stressed that Northern Irish citizens also have an inherent right to Irish and therefore EU citizenship.

Read: ‘No decision made’ amid reports Israel may close Dublin embassy in cost-cutting move

Read: UK could get a special trade deal with the EU after Brexit – Macron says

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