Cabinet Office will Reimburse Reasonable Spending by Returning Officers on Contingency Preparations for European Parliament Elections

Publish date: 01/04/2019

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has written to the Electoral Commission to advise it remains the intention for the UK to leave the EU with a deal and not take part in the European Parliamentary Elections in May, but that he can confirm that the Cabinet Office will reimburse reasonable spending by Returning Officers on contingency preparations for European Parliament Elections.

The full letter can be read in full here

The advice given to returning officers states:-

"Following Friday's vote in the House of Commons, the opportunity to guarantee that the UK would not participate in EP elections has been removed. Cabinet Office is therefore confirming that Returning Officers will be reimbursed in the usual way for any expenditure on activity that is necessarily undertaken, at this stage and in the coming weeks, to prepare for the possibility of European Parliamentary elections on Thursday 23 May 2019. An Order setting the Appointed Day of Poll would be required under the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 to hold elections. Returning Officers will want to be particularly mindful of the need to use public money appropriately. This is particularly the case in the current circumstances. For example, thought should be given to what actions are strictly necessary ahead of the start of an election timetable and what can be undertaken on a contingency basis given that circumstances may continue to change. A Statutory Instrument will be made in due course, which will confirm the legal basis for Cabinet Office to reimburse Returning Officers for expenditure necessarily incurred. Claims for reimbursement will be made through the Elections Claims Unit in the usual way."