Following a meeting of the Constitutional Affairs Committee in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Monday, September 11th, Independent MEP Marian Harkin welcomed a draft report which grapples with the composition of the European Parliament post Brexit.
“One of the many issues facing us following the Brexit vote is how the 73 seats of current British MEPs will be redistributed amongst the remaining 27 Member States”, she said.
Marian Harkin continued:- “ The current allocation of representatives in the Parliament is largely based on Member States’ populations but smaller countries benefit more from this system of allocation than larger ones. For example, Ireland has 1 MEP for every 400,000 people whereas Germany has 1 MEP for 850,000 people approximately.
“The new proposal reduces the total number of seats from 751 to 699 MEPs plus the President of the Parliament. It allocates Ireland an additional 2 seats, up from 11 to 13 - an 18% increase in representation for the country. This is naturally very welcome, particularly in light of Brexit negotiations which will undoubtedly continue well past the 2019 withdrawal deadline and the next European elections.
"An issue which must be considered in this discussion is that of Northern Ireland. As all Northern Irish citizens who are also Irish citizens are entitled to EU citizenship how do we deal with representation for those citizens post Brexit? I will be working with Guy Verhofstadt, European Parliament Coordinator on Brexit and Leader of my political group, in addressing this very important issue’.