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City’s “almost 5,000” EU voters urged to “make voice heard” in May election

March 17, 2018 11:00 PM

Plymouth Liberal Democrats are urging the city's "almost 5,000" EU residents to back the party in the elections to the city council in May. The election, on Thursday 3rd May, is the last scheduled set of elections before the planned date for Brexit, in March next year.

Almost 5,000 nationals of other EU member states are registered to vote for the city's local councillors, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Over 1,000 live in the St Peter & the Waterfront ward, with more than 500 in both Devonport ward and Sutton & Mount Gould ward. Drake and Stoke wards each have over 300.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Stuart Bonar said, "Thousands of EU nationals from across Europe live and work in this city, contributing through their taxes but also simply adding to the vibrancy and diversity of our great city. Across England, there are over 10,000 NHS doctors from other EU countries, and over 20,000 EU nurses, many of those will work here in Plymouth. We are lucky to have them.

"The Liberal Democrats are asking EU nationals in Plymouth to contribute in one additional, important way. We're encouraging them to get out and vote in the council elections in May, and to vote for the Lib Dems. This is the last scheduled set of elections before Brexit is expected to take place. This may well be their last chance, and everyone's last chance, to make their voice heard.

"A lot has happened since the EU referendum, which was nearly two years ago now. Promises made by the Leave campaign have been ditched. Pro-Brexit politicians no longer talk about it helping our economy, only that the inevitable pain of leaving the EU may eventually be worth it. Before the referendum, they promised that Brexit would be a pot of gold. It will end up being little more than a bowl of gruel.

"The Liberal Democrats are the only party that is making the case for people to have a say on the deal that the Government brings back from the negotiations. The politicians made loads of promises about Brexit, and we should get the chance to hold them to account for those promises. That's how democracy works."

Any local resident entitled to vote, which includes EU nationals as well as UK citizens, can register to vote by visiting www.gov.uk/registertovote or calling the council.