- Brexit supporters fear a “secret plot” to derail Britain’s departure from the EU because preparations are being made for the 2019 European elections.
- The Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph reported that the Electoral Commission has ring-fenced £829,000 ($1.1 million) in case the UK votes in the European Parliament election next year.
- Former Conservative Party leader Ian Duncan Smith suggested that the Electoral Commission was “working to make sure the UK stays in the EU.”
The two newspapers reported that Britain’s Electoral Commission has ring-fenced £829,000 ($1.1 million) in the event that the UK participates in the European Parliament election in May next year – months after the Brexit deadline of March 29.
Britain has 73 members of European Parliament, including former UKIP leader and arch Brexiteer Nigel Farage. Their terms as MEPs are due to end on the day the UK leaves the 28-nation bloc.
Business Insider contacted the Electoral Commission for comment. It told The Sunday Times that none of the money had been spent, adding: “A provision in our budget was made so that the commission has the necessary funds to deliver our functions at a European parliamentary election, in the unlikely event that they do go ahead.”
Both The Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph said the Electoral Commission’s had angered Brexit supporters.
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen told the Sunday Times that the Commission “has a pro-remain bias,” while former Tory leader Ian Duncan Smith told the Sunday Telegraph: “It is complete madness to earmark money to spend on an election that the prime minister has already said we will not fight unless you are working to make sure the UK stays in the EU.”