RIGHTS: UK and Spain sign landmark deal protecting rights of citizens to vote and stand in elections

SPAIN and the UK have signed a deal to protect voting rights of British residents in Spain and Spanish residents in the UK after Brexit.

The Voting Rights Treaty safeguards residents’ right to vote and even allows them to stand as a candidate in local elections.

Those wishing to vote at the next local elections will have to register by January 30.

Both countries are set to hold elections in May and this deal on voting rights will come into force before the EU is set to leave the EU on March 29.

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BREXIT: The Voting Rights Treaty is to come into force before the UK is set to leave the EU on March 29

Robin Walker, UK Brexit Undersecretary said he was ‘delighted to sign the bilateral treaty with Spain, securing the respective rights of UK and Spanish citizens’.

British Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley and EU Secretary of State Marco Aguiriano, joined Walker at the landmark signing in Madrid on Monday.

Aguiriano said the treaty achieves the ‘reinforcement of the very intense bonds between Spain and the UK’.

It comes as the Spanish government has launched a new section on its website to help UK nationals in Spain prepare for EU exit.

PRESSURE: Theresa May and husband Philip on Sunday ahead of the unveiling of her new Brexit plan on Monday

Among the advice for British expats is information on registration, education and healthcare.

More than 300,000 Brits are registered as citizens in Spain, the largest British group outside of the UK, while 175,000 Spaniards reside in the UK.

Meanwhile British Prime Minister Theresa May will present her Brexit ‘plan B’ to Parliament later on Monday afternoon, after her original Withdrawal Agreement was voted down by MPs.

In her new plan May is expected to say she will go back to the EU in a bid to change their position on the Irish backstop.

More to follow…

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