[AS AMENDED IN GRAND COMMITTEE]
Make provision enabling alterations to be made to the total number of
Members of the European Parliament to be elected for the United Kingdom
and to their distribution between the electoral regions; to make provision for
and in connection with the establishment of an electoral region including
Gibraltar for the purposes of European Parliamentary elections; and for
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
Changes in total number of United Kingdom MEPs
1 Electoral regions in the United Kingdom
For section 1 of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 (“the 2002 Act”)
(electoral regions and number of MEPs) there is substituted—
“1 Number of MEPs and electoral regions
(1) There shall be 87 members of the European Parliament (“MEPs”)
elected for the United Kingdom.
(2) For the purposes of electing those MEPs—
(a) England is divided into the nine electoral regions specified in
Schedule 1; and
(b) Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are each single electoral
(3) The number of MEPs to be elected for each electoral region is as
Yorkshire and the Humber
Electoral Commission recommendations relating to changes in total number of United
2 References to changes under Community law
(1) In this Part “change under Community law” (in relation to a change in the
number of MEPs to be elected for the United Kingdom) means a change made
(a) a treaty provision that is part of the Community Treaties; or
(b) any provision of a Council Decision, or of any other instrument, made
under a treaty provision that is part of the Community Treaties.
(2) In this Part a reference to a treaty provision being part of the Community
Treaties is to it being, or being included in provisions which are, specified in
section 1(2) of the European Communities Act 1972 (c. 68) by virtue of an
amendment made by an Act (whether passed before or after this Act).
(3) In this Part “treaty” includes any international agreement (however described)
and a protocol or annex to a treaty or other international agreement.
3 Recommendations by Electoral Commission as to the distribution of United
(1) The Lord Chancellor may by notice require the Electoral Commission to make
a recommendation to him as to the distribution between the electoral regions
(a) a total number of MEPs specified in the notice; or
(b) if the notice specifies more than one total number of MEPs, each of the
total numbers so specified.
(2) The power to give such a notice is exercisable with a view to the
implementation of any change or anticipated change under Community law in
the total number of MEPs to be elected for the United Kingdom.
(3) The Electoral Commission must comply with such a notice within the period
specified in the notice.
(4) In determining what recommendation to make for the distribution of any total
number of MEPs, the Electoral Commission must ensure that—
(a) each electoral region is allocated at least three MEPs; and
(b) the ratio of electors to MEPs is as nearly as possible the same in each
(5) A recommendation under this section—
(a) must be published by the Electoral Commission and laid before
Parliament by the Lord Chancellor; and
(b) ceases to have effect at the end of the period of one year beginning with
the day on which it is made.
4 Section 3: meaning of “elector”
(1) For the purposes of section 3(4) an elector, in relation to an electoral region, is
a person whose name appears on the relevant day in (or in any part of) a
relevant register which relates to the region.
(2) In subsection (1)—
“relevant day” means 1st December preceding the day on which the
notice under section 3 is given; and
“relevant register” has the same meaning as in Schedule 1A to the 2002
Act (periodic reviews).
(3) In calculating the total number of electors for any electoral region—
(a) persons who are registered but have not attained the age of 18 are to be
counted as electors;
(b) a citizen of the European Union (not being a Commonwealth citizen or
a citizen of the Republic of Ireland) who is registered only for the
purposes of local government elections is to be disregarded; and
(c) the Electoral Commission may assume that each relevant register is
accurate and that names appearing more than once on registers (or
parts of registers) which relate to an electoral region are the names of
Implementation of changes in the total number of United Kingdom MEPs
5 Orders implementing changes
(1) The Lord Chancellor may by order give effect to a change under Community
law in the number of MEPs to be elected for the United Kingdom by
(a) the figure specified in section 1(1) of the 2002 Act (total number of
MEPs to be elected for the United Kingdom); and
(b) any of the figures specified in section 1(3) of that Act (numbers of MEPs
to be elected in the electoral regions).
(2) The distribution of MEPs resulting from the provision made under subsection
(1)(b) must (subject to section 6(6) to (8)) be the distribution proposed in a
recommendation of the Electoral Commission under section 3 which is
effective on the day on which the order is made.
(3) An order making an amendment to section 1 of the 2002 Act may be made
before the provision making the relevant change has entered into force.
(4) If the relevant change is made by a provision of a treaty, an order making such
an amendment may also be made before that provision has become part of the
Community Treaties and, if the treaty requires ratification, before it is ratified
by the United Kingdom.
(5) But no amendment to section 1 of the 2002 Act may be made so as to come into
(a) if the relevant change is made by a provision mentioned in section
2(1)(b), before that provision has entered into force; and
(b) if the relevant change is made by a treaty provision, before that
provision has both entered into force and become part of the
(6) In subsections (3) to (5) “the relevant change”, in relation to an order under this
section amending section 1 of the 2002 Act, means the change under
Community law being implemented by the order.
(7) The Lord Chancellor must consult the Electoral Commission before making an
order under this section.
6 Section 5: supplementary
(1) This section applies to orders under section 5.
(2) The power to make such an order is exercisable by statutory instrument.
(3) Such an order may make consequential, transitional or saving provision.
(4) Provision made under subsection (3) may modify any enactment.
(5) An order which contains amendments to section 1 of the 2002 Act may not be
made unless a draft of it has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of,
each House of Parliament.
(6) If a motion for the approval of a draft order is rejected by either House or
withdrawn by leave of the House the Lord Chancellor may, after consulting the
Electoral Commission, alter the draft order.
(7) But the Lord Chancellor may not, without the consent of the Electoral
Commission, alter any amendments to section 1(3) of the 2002 Act contained in
the draft order.
(8) The Electoral Commission may not give its consent under subsection (7) unless
it is satisfied that the distribution of MEPs proposed by the altered draft order
could have been recommended under section 3.
(9) A statutory instrument containing an order that is not subject to approval in
draft under subsection (5) is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution
of either House of Parliament.
7 Periodic reviews of distribution of MEPs
(1) After section 1 of the 2002 Act there is inserted—
“1A Periodic reviews of distribution of MEPs
Schedule 1A (which provides for periodic reviews by the Electoral
Commission of the distribution of MEPs between the electoral regions)
(2) After Schedule 1 to the 2002 Act there is inserted the Schedule 1A set out in the
Schedule to this Act.
8 Consequential amendments
(1) The 2002 Act is amended as follows.
(2) In section 13(3) (instruments subject to annulment) paragraph (b) and the
preceding “or” are repealed.
(3) In Schedule 1 (electoral regions in England)—
(a) for paragraph 1 (and the preceding heading) there is substituted—
“1 The electoral regions in England are listed in column (1) of
the Table below and comprise the areas specified in column
(2) of the Table).”;
(b) in paragraph 2 (changes to areas specified in column (2) of the Table) in
sub-paragraph (1), for the words from “in” to “area” (in the first place it
appears) there is substituted “to an area specified in column (2) of the
(c) paragraphs 3 and 4 (with the preceding heading), and column (3) of the
Table, are repealed.
New combined electoral region
9 Combination of Gibraltar with existing electoral region
Gibraltar is to be combined with an existing electoral region in England and
Wales to form a new electoral region (“the combined region”) for the purposes
of European Parliamentary elections taking place after 1st April 2004.