An urgent warning has been sounded over “brazen” Labour plans to hand the vote to EU nationals for general elections to decide who governs the UK, despite no EU country allowing the same rule.
Sir Keir Starmer himself said in 2020 that all EU nationals should be given full voting rights in elections, and although no official announcement has been made, proposals are understood to still be being looked at by his party.
In May Labour Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds told the BBC there was “an argument for having them (EU nationals) involved in the process”.
The party is also understood to be considering opening the vote to 16 and 17-year-olds in a bid to increase its share of the electorate.
According to the Office for National Statistics, there are an estimated 1.4 million teenagers that would be allowed to vote under the plans, plus around 3.4 million EU nationals with settled status.
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EU nationals legally in the UK can vote in local and devolved elections.
At present no other EU state allows people without citizenship to vote in their national elections, and writing in the Telegraph Daniel Hannan sounded a warning over any such move for the UK.
He said Sir Keir Starmer will seek to create more Labour votes by extending the franchise, writing: “The outrageousness of these proposals means that they would need to happen right at the start of Starmer’s mandate when he enjoyed a measure of goodwill.
“Labour has demanded the raising of the age of consent from 16 to 18 for almost everything – applying for a mortgage, getting a tattoo, using a sunbed, buying cigarettes – yet, without a blush, it now wants 16-year-olds to vote.”
Mr Hannan added that what makes the plans even more “brazen” is that “EU states do not give each other’s nationals that right”.
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He continued: “More to the point, we are not an EU state. Why give the vote to Bulgarians but not Bolivians or Burundians? Purely, one assumes, because Labour believes they would reward its Europhilia.”
Conservative Party Chairman Greg Hands said the Labour plans were an attempt to drag Britain back into Europe by stealth.
He told the BBC in May: “The right to vote in parliamentary elections and choose the next UK Government is rightly restricted to British citizens and those with the closest historical links to our country.”
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