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Stephen Barkley, Brexit Secretary has sought to amend Yvette Coopers bill - basically to neuter it so that the government can retain control of any request to the EU for an extension. His amendment has just been defeated by 400 votes to 220 - one of the largest defeats for the government yet.

Many UK leaders and commentators still seem to "think" they can duck out of holding EP elections by leaving on 22nd. May. This ignores the impact of this elsewhere.

Ireland for example is due to get 2 extra seats if the UK leaves. This means that the Dublin constituency increases from 3 to four seats. The dynamics of fighting a 4 seater are quite different from fighting a 3 seater. Some parties may nominate 2 candidates rather than one for example as they might think they have a chance of winning two seats rather than just 1.

A disappointed candidate for a party nomination could take a legal case arguing they would have won a nomination had their party nominated 2 rather than one candidate. So the entire legitimacy of the elections could be thrown into disarray if it is not clear, well in advance, exactly how many seats will be on offer.

This means the EU needs to know, by April 12th., whether the UK is going to be a member and participating in the elections or not. This is not a decision that can be delayed until 22nd. May.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 3rd, 2019 at 09:46:13 PM EST

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