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Brexit will save UK taxpayers £109m cost of 2019 euro elections, minister says

Undated file photo of Fifty, Twenty, Ten, and Five pound notes. Economists have downgraded Britain's growth prospects in the wake of political uncertainty following the general election and as a prolonged Brexit drag on business investment looms. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday July 3, 2017. New forecasts by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) show that the UK economy will grow by just 1.3% in 2017, a substantial downward revision from an earlier forecast of 1.7%. See PA story ECONOMY Growth. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Britain will save an estimated £109 million by not taking part in the next European Parliament elections, a minister has revealed.

It is not "a prudent use of taxpayers' money" for Britain to prepare for the ballot next May because it will have left the EU by then, Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith said.

She added that the Government planned to appeal legislation covering EU elections in the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

In a written response to a question from Ealing's Labour MP Virendra Sharma, Mrs Smith said: "We estimate that not holding European parliamentary elections will save British taxpayers at least £109 million next year; this is in addition to the cost of the British contribution to the EU budget."

The UK is due to leave the EU on March 29 2019, with all 73 MEPs losing the right to sit in the European Parliament.

Mrs Smith added: "Given this, the Government does not consider it is necessary or a prudent use of taxpayers' money for returning officers and electoral administrators to make the usual preparations for the conduct of a European parliamentary poll in 2019.

"The Government does not intend to make an order setting the date of the poll for the European parliamentary elections in 2019.

"We also do not intend to undertake the usual preparations for information exchange between the UK and the member states in respect of EU citizens (including UK citizens) living in another member state."

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