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'Cold storage' MEPs will have no legal status until after Brexit

'Cold storage' MEPs will have no legal status until after Brexit
Barry Andrews was elected as an MEP in Dublin but will be left out in the cold until after the UK formally leaves the EU. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

Ireland's two 'second-tier' MEPs will have no salary, status or function in the EU Parliament until after Brexit occurs, it has been confirmed.

The EU Parliament office in Dublin has told the Irish Examiner that Fianna Fail's Barry Andrews and whoever fills the final seat in Ireland South will be left out in the cold until after the UK formally leaves the union.

It has been clarified that although Ireland held elections for 13 MEP positions, only 11 have legal status until the UK vacates its seats, three in Dublin, four in Ireland South and four in Midlands North West.

The UK is, as of now, is set to leave the EU from October 31 and at that point all the UK MEPs will immediately leave and the Parliament will then be composed of 705 MEPs.

It is only then that some countries will take up additional seats, including Ireland, which will take up one seat extra in Dublin and South - the fourth and fifth-placed candidates in the elections respectively.

“Until that point, there is no legal basis for the European Parliament to attribute any particular status to these two individuals,” the Parliament told the Irish Examiner.

While they would be entitled to attend the parliament, it would only be as citizens. They will be afforded no special access or privileges, the parliament said.

The first sitting of the new Parliament will take place in Strasbourg from July 2nd-4th. New MEPs will receive salaries and expenses from July 2.

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