Why British people in France may not be able to vote in European elections

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
Why British people in France may not be able to vote in European elections
Photo: AFP

British people living in France are concerned they will not be able to vote in the European elections this week due to problems with both the French and UK authorities.


Electoral rolls in France
Britons who are already on the electoral  people who live in France and have the right to vote here are having difficulties. 
Some of them have found that despite already being on the French electoral register they have since been removed, meaning that they would not be able to vote in the election on Sunday when voters are set to head to the polls in France. 
A members of citizens rights group Remain in France Together (RIFT) who investigated the issue said that this had been confirmed by the French authorities as illegal. 
So, if you were previously registered to vote in France and assumed you still would be you can check if you're on the electoral roll here
And if you find that you are no longer listed you can visit the Tribunal de Grande Instance (High Court) before Sunday they will have to add you back to the lists.
Photo: AFP
For many of the 300,000 Britons living in France, it was difficult to know whether to register to vote in the European elections at all what with the uncertainty over whether the UK would still be a member of the EU when voting time rolled around. 
The British government did not finally confirm that it would be taking part in the European elections until May 7, by which time the deadline to register in France had long passed, and there was less than 24 hours left to register in the UK.
However that isn't the view of France's top administrative court.
When the case of a British woman who was unable to register to vote in the upcoming European elections was taken to court, her lawyer argued that France should exceptionally have allowed Britons wanting to take part to register after the usual French closing date of March 31st. 
Barrister Julien Fouchet, who represented her, said that this would have been reasonable due to the fact that it was not clear before then whether Britain would still be in the EU during the elections. 
Originally Britain was expected to leave the EU on March 29th before that date was pushed back to April 12th then again to the current deadline of October 31st.
However the administrative court ruled that British people living in France should have been aware that Brexit might be put off and registered to vote in the European elections in France anyway.
This means that some British people in France will be left without a vote anywhere, which will no doubt come as a blow. 
French words to know: 
European elections - Élections européennes
Electoral roll - liste électorale
Vote - Une voix
Round of voting - Un vote



Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also