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Spain and UK strike reciprocal Brexit deal on voting rights

British expats and tourists enjoy the atmosphere in a terrace of an English bar in Benalmádena, Spain. | David Ramos/Getty Images

Spain and UK strike reciprocal Brexit deal on voting rights

The deal maintains the rights of citizens to participate in municipal elections, says Foreign Minister Josep Borrell.

By

1/14/19, 11:59 PM CET

Updated 1/15/19, 12:34 AM CET

MADRID — Spain’s Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said Monday that Madrid and London have agreed to grant electoral rights in local elections after Brexit to British residents in Spain and Spanish residents in the U.K.

The reciprocal agreement will be signed January 21 and will grant British residents in Spain and Spanish residents in the U.K. the right to vote and stand as candidates in municipal elections after Britain leaves the EU.

“Bilateral agreements between Spain and the U.K. will guarantee that Spaniards who’re living there and Britons here will maintain all of their rights, even the right to vote in municipal elections,” Borrell told reporters.

The pact will be formally announced this week by a senior Spanish official and the British ambassador in Spain, Simon Manley.

“Spain and the U.K. are finalizing the negotiation of an agreement on the reciprocal recognition of the active and passive right of suffrage,” reads a Spanish government website, which was published on Monday.

It also states that the goal is for the agreement to come into effect before the May local ballot in Spain, meaning British people should be able to vote.

The agreement between Madrid and London is set to maintain the current status quo — EU citizens have the right to vote and stand for office in local elections in countries other than their own.

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