Brexit

Republic could get an extra two MEPs post-Brexit

The Republic could see its number of MEPs increase after Brexit

THE Republic is set to get an extra two seats in the European Parliament once Brexit is completed.

Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness, vice-president of the European Parliament, said some of the UK's 73 seats will be redistributed once it leaves the bloc and all outstanding legal issues are dealt with.

Under proposals put before the parliament's constitutional affairs committee, the total number of MEPs would be reduced post-Brexit but some countries, including the Republic, would see their representation increase.

The Republic could see its total increase from 11 to 13.

Ms McGuinness said the proposals will not be place in time for the 2019 EU elections.

"The European elections of 2019 would elect the same number of MEPs in each country as there are today, but with a mechanism put in place to allow the additional MEPs, where applicable, to join later in the parliamentary term," she said.

"Brexit means it is not possible to implement a permanent solution to the reallocation of European Parliament seats right away. What's proposed allows for an interim solution with a permanent solution in place for the 2024 elections."

She said the proposals also suggest that 51 seats should remain vacant, to be used if other countries join the EU, or a "transnational list".

The transnational list, which Ms McGuinness said was a "controversial" idea in the parliament and in council, would see some MEPs elected to represent more than one country.

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