Malta will get none of the UK MEPs’ seats after Brexit

Brexit leaves 73 MEP seats empty, but only 27 seats will be apportioned between half the EU member states 

Tiny Malta will retain its six seats in the European Parliament and will not get any additional representation after British MEPs vacate the Brussels parliament.

Twenty-seven of the total 73 seats currently occupied by British MEPs will be redistributed among the remaining 27 EU countries, the parliament’s constitutional affairs committee decided this week.

The total number of seats would drop from 751 to 705. The file still needs to be approved by the parliament’s plenary.

But it will be France, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands that will gain the most seats, the committee of MEPs decided with 21 votes in favour and four against.

The redistribution will apply after the parliament elections of May 2019, two months after the end of the two-year Brexit negotiation period.

France will see its MEPs grow from 74 to 79, Spain from 54 to 59, Italy and the Netherlands each gain three seats, going from 73 to 76 and 26 to 29 respectively, and Ireland will increase its number of MEPs from to 11 to 13.

Denmark, Estonia, Croatia, Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Finland, and Sweden all have been allocated one additional seat.

Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Portugal, and Slovenia will keep the same number of MEPs as they have today.

Germany was unable to increase its number of MEPs, because it already has the maximum number allowed, 96.

Euobserver.com reported that the seats were redistributed, rather than just left empty or abolished, because the current distribution was not considered equally fair to all countries, considering their population sizes.

The remaining 46 seats will remain empty, but can be used in future for MEPs from new member states.

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