Over half of UK MEPs ask Venice Commission to investigate UK’s “declining democratic standards”

A cross-party group of 38 UK MEPs has written to a high-level international legal commission to ask for its intervention over ‘declining democratic standards’ in the UK.

The letter to the Venice Commission, signed by over half the UK’s MEPs, raises concerns over the exclusion of specific groups of voters and undemocratic standards in both the EU referendum in 2016 and this year’s European elections.

The Green, Labour and Liberal Democrat MEPs have asked the commission to investigate breaches of spending rules and data-protection laws as well as the exclusion of non-UK EU citizens residing in the UK from voting during the 2016 referendum.

They have also asked them to investigate the disenfranchisement of UK citizens resident in other EU countries and non-UK EU citizens resident in the UK from the European elections this year.

Claude Moraes MEP, chair of the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, said:

“It is clear that this Conservative Government has refused to take seriously the disenfranchisement of citizens who were entitled to carry out their most important democratic right to vote.

“The deafening silence from this Government to calls for an inquiry or even any signs of concern suggests a decline in democratic standards and force us to take this serious step of reaching out to a respected, high-level legal body, the Vienna Commission.

“Brexit is producing many negative consequences – a decline in our democratic standards should not be one of them.”