British nationals living in the Netherlands will not be able to vote in next May’s European parliamentary elections, a spokesman for the European parliament’s office in The Hague has confirmed.

‘Brits living in, for example, the Netherlands before Brexit will have their residency rights protected,’ the spokesman said. ‘However they will not have the right to vote post-Brexit in the European elections 2019. They will enjoy the same voting rights as any non-EU residents in the Netherlands.’

The next EU elections take place on May 23 and non-Dutch EU citizens living in the Netherlands are allowed either here or in their home country. The Netherlands currently has 26 seats but this will go up to 29 in May. The total number of seats in the European parliament will be cut from 751 to 701 after the election, because of Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. Turnout four years ago was just 37.3% in the Netherlands, well below the EU average of 42.6%.

The European parliament has now launched a special website, aimed at encouraging people to vote. The parliament’s office in The Hague is also holding a special meeting on December 3 where EU nationals can share ideas about how to encourage more people to take part.