BORDERERS are being advised to prepare for a European Parliament election, despite the UK voting to leave the European Union almost three years ago.

Theresa May secured a Brexit deadline extension last week, with the UK’s departure delayed until October 31.

However, this deal is conditional upon the UK participating in the European parliamentary election in May.

Unless MPs back a withdrawal agreement, which currently looks unlikely, an election to nominate MEPs will be held across the country on Thursday, May 23.

Scottish Borders Council is making plans to ensure the smooth delivery of the poll, with a count scheduled for Sunday, May 26.

Should the election take place, six MEPs will be elected to represent Scotland in the European Parliament.

Tracey Logan, Local Returning Officer for the Scottish Borders count, said: “While it is still possible that this election will not take place in the UK, we have to be prepared and take all necessary steps to ensure that, should it happen, all aspects of the election run accurately and efficiently.

“Given the relatively short timescale, it is particularly important that people are aware of the dates for voter registration, for requesting or changing postal or proxy votes and when postal votes will be issued as this could impact on those who will be away prior to and over election day on 23 May.

“For those who do receive a postal vote, I’d ask that these are returned as soon as practical.

“Not only does this ensure that your vote counts, it also helps speed up the count process as all verification can be completed in advance.”

The deadline for voter registration is midnight on May 7 and the deadline for postal vote applications is 5pm on May 8.

Anyone wishing to appoint a proxy to cast a vote on their behalf has until 5pm on May 15 to arrange this and voters hoping to change an existing postal or proxy vote have until 5pm on May 8.

Borderers are eligible to vote in the European Parliamentary Election provided they are 18 or over on election day and are a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen permanently living in the UK, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or certain Commonwealth countries and are resident in the UK.

Citizens of the European Union (excluding the UK, Republic of Ireland, Malta or Cyprus) who wish to vote in this election in Scotland need to complete a separate application to vote, accompanied by a declaration stating that they will vote only in the UK.

You can register online at or by contacting the Electoral Registration Officer on or 01835 825100.

The necessary paperwork to arrange to vote by post or proxy can be downloaded from or can be obtained from the Electoral Registration Officer.