One proposal for the current political situation in the UK regards Brexit is a delay of the Brexit for further discussions/votes/elections/referenda/...

But we have the 2019 European Parliament election coming up in 23–26 May 2019. A delayed Brexit would almost certainly mean that the UK would participate. But

  1. There are very firm plans to redistributed UK's seats in parliament.
  2. The UK is almost certainly not prepared for the elections (would Farage run again for UKIP?)

What are likely and scenarios? Delay the Brexit for 6 months, vote in EU28 and after Brexit have >4 years with a smaller parliament? Or could the elections be delayed?

  • 2
    Those plans are dependent on the UK leaving before the new parliamentary term (see article 3, section 2 in data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-7-2018-REV-1/en/pdf). Not that this fully answers the question.
    – origimbo
    Jan 16, 2019 at 0:27
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    A delayed Brexit would almost certainly mean that the UK would participate, unless the EU agrees to an extension no longer than until 22 May.
    – gerrit
    Jan 16, 2019 at 0:31
  • @gerrit there is also talk in the UK media that the first day of the new parliamentary session in July is the more relevant cut off. See e.g. the unnamed sources in theguardian.com/politics/2019/jan/13/…
    – origimbo
    Jan 16, 2019 at 0:54

1 Answer 1


A total mess, of course.

If the UK retracts their Article 50 declaration with the intention to stay, that would be the relatively easy case.

  • Some of the UK seats have been redistributed to the other members, some have been held empty. This change is contingent on the UK actually leaving.
  • Various nations have different election procedures, in line with different national traditions. Changing the number of seats will disorder the process Europe-wide.
  • There are deadlines for filing candidacies. Before that, parties must go through candidate selection. All this is ongoing or already finished in the EU27 and might have to be repeated if electoral districts change.

If the UK retracts their declaration with the intention to re-declare as soon as possible, things get really complicated.

  • They would have to elect MEPs, with problems as above.
  • These MEPs would then join electing the next Commission. This is seen as a problem because the Commission is not supposed to be re-elected once the UK MEPs leave.
  • For a relatively trivial factor, they would earn pensions; the Brexit bill would have to be adjusted. (The UK would be part of the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, so pensions are really small fry compared to the other recalculations).
  • 1
    "Retracts their declaration with the intention to re-declare as soon as possible" - srsly? EU27 will never accept that. Jan 16, 2019 at 9:29
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    The court case which declared that Article 50 can be unilaterally revoked stated it can only do so in good faith, which the intention to re-declare would not be. That's what postponing Article 50 is for, which can be done but not unilaterally.
    – gerrit
    Jan 16, 2019 at 9:33
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    @o.m. There's always a hard Brexit. Don't forget: EU27 does not want the Brexit to be precedent that encourages other. It must hurt. Jan 16, 2019 at 20:32
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    @MartinSchröder Yes. It is weird that somehow many people think that EU27 would want UK to stay in EU more than the UK itself wants it.
    – Gnudiff
    Jan 16, 2019 at 22:12
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    @MartinSchröder, I don't want the Brexit to hurt, but I want clarity and that means hurt. Out means out. The moment the UK negotiates a separate trade agreement or passes different regulations, there must be a border.
    – o.m.
    Jan 17, 2019 at 6:22

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