European Union citizens who live in the UK are being urged to check their eligibility to vote in the European Parliament elections which take place between the 23rd to 26th of May next year.
UK citizens will no longer be eligible to vote due to the UK decision to leave the EU on the 29th of March 2019. However, citizens of the other EU Countries living in the UK are eligible to vote, subject to certain conditions. A set of country factsheets, produced by the European Parliament, listing voting conditions and national contact points is available here. While some background information on European Parliament elections is here.
The UK Government has published the first set in a series of technical notes for businesses and members of the public on how to prepare for the possibly the UK leaves the EU without securing a withdrawal agreement. These guidance notes cover importing and exporting, workplace rights, regulating medicines and medical equipment, farming, product safety, EU-funded programmes including Horizon 2020, state aid, studying in the UK or EU, money and tax and civil nuclear and nuclear research. More documents are planned.
The European Commission’s preparedness notices on these and other policy areas also looks at the consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union under various scenarios.
If you are interested in this from a Scottish perspective the SPICe blog from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre intends to provide analysis on the UK Government’s technical notes over the next month.
Do you know that since April this year you can access digital services you have paid for in the EU country in which you reside when you are on holiday in another EU country? So this summer you can view films, catch up with a series, enjoy watching sports events, read eBooks, play video games and listen to music you subscribed to at home without the frustration of your services being blocked or costing extra.
Are you heading off to another EU country on holiday soon? Then remember to pack your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) along with your passport. This gives access to state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 28 EU countries as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The card entitles you to state-provided healthcare under the same conditions and at the same cost as citizens of that country. In some cases treatment may be free. The card covers both pre-existing medical conditions as well as emergency care. Do remember though the EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance as it does not cover private healthcare or return flights if you have to come home early for health reasons.
The House of Commons Library is celebrating as this year marks 200 hundred years since its first librarian was appointed. You can find out more about the library’s history here or watch the video at the end of this blog.
One aspect of the library’s work, relevant to anyone starting to research a contemporary topic, is the production of impartial research briefings on a wide range of current issues. While these are intended to help members of Parliament by providing them with good quality impartial background information, they are extremely useful to anyone starting to research a current issue. They can be searched by date or topic.
Some recent briefings which may be of interest include:
Going on holiday soon? Did you know that from the 1st of July holidaymakers benefit from additional rights and better protection under updated EU package travel rules when booking travel packages where you choose different elements – such as flight, hotel, car hire – from a single point of sale online or offline. The new rules also cover linked travel arrangements when you book travel services at one point of sale, but using separate booking processes, or, book one travel service on one website, then another service that you are invited to book on a different website.
To find out more about these, and other additions rights contained in the new law, have a look at the factsheet or watch the video below.
Under the terms of the proposed transition period after the UK leaves the EU at the end of March 2019, this Directive will be applicable in the UK until the end of 2020. It’s continued application after that will depend on the outcome of negotiations on the future EU-UK relationship and/or UK policy.