Oxford MP calls for inquiry into voter suppression of EU citizens

first_imgNicolas Hatton, founder of ‘the3million’, an advocacy group for EU citizens in the UK, and Jane Golding, founder of British in Europe, have between them raised over £40,000 for the ‘#DeniedMyVote is unlawful’ CrowdJustice fund. The fundraising constitutes part of a potential legal challenge to the #DeniedMyVote scandal, and they have called for people to come forward with examples of having been denied their vote, with the possibility of bringing forward legal action. Hatton and Golding said: “Our team of expert public law practitioners and researchers will go through the testimonials and assess the best legal options to successfully challenge the Government.” ‘The3million’, whose name refers to the number of EU citizens living in the country, also wrote an open letter to all those standing for the Conservative Party leadership, outlining their hopes for the protection of rights. A letter written by Moran was sent to the chair of the Electoral Commission and the Cabinet Secretary on Friday. Receiving cross-party support, the call gained the backing of 68 MPs from six parties. The letter outlined two issues: the UK government’s requirement that EU citizens must complete additional paperwork in order to vote, and the issues faced by UK voters who live abroad. “It is clear that the Government did not want to take part in these elections. However, the Government’s responsibility to every eligible voter, to enfranchise as many citizens as possible, must come above party political concerns.” EU citizens in the UK, including some in Oxfordshire, were reportedly denied a vote in May’s election despite being entitled to one under EU law. The mistake was linked to administrative errors made by local councils. “Had the Government confirmed that we would be taking part in these elections sooner, rather than on the same day as the deadline for the return of the UC1 form, we could have largely avoided this situation. The Oxford West and Abingdon MP, Layla Moran, has called for an urgent inquiry into claims that EU citizens were disenfranchised in the European Parliamentary elections last month. The letter comes five years after the Electoral Commission recommended reform following similar complications in 2014’s European election. Since the letter, a petition for an inquiry into the disenfranchisement of citizens has reached over 11,000 signatures, and an urgent question was raised in the House of Commons last week on the matter. A number of EU nationals reported that they arrived at polling booths to find their names had been crossed out with officials confirming they were not entitled to vote. Others complained that the elections had been announced at short notice, giving them insufficient time to register to vote. Moran, a Liberal Democrat who assumed office in June 2017, set out recommended lines of enquiry into the situation. These include the impact of the Government’s late confirmation of the election and an investigation into how many citizens were denied their vote on polling day, despite completing all procedures before the deadline. They wrote: “British in Europe and ‘the3million’ represent over five million people who still have no guarantee that their futures are secure after nearly three years. “You can make sure that there will never be a Windrush-style scandal for EU citizens by supporting our ‘registration, not application’ proposal for a new immigration status after Brexit. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it would also send a strong signal to EU27 countries as they consider the systems they put in place for UK citizens in their countries.” Problems were also encountered by UK voters living abroad, with reported cases of ballot papers being distributed a few hours before the poll. Moran wrote: “We find it deeply concerning that the Government appears to have taken no action to stop such serious disenfranchisement from occurring. last_img read more

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Dutch should adopt principles-based funding framework: Aon Hewitt

first_imgA principles-based approach ought to replace the tight rules of the financial assessment framework in the Netherlands in order to create scope for innovation for a new pensions system, consultancy Aon Hewitt has argued.Speaking at a conference in Amsterdam last week, Frank Driessen, chief executive of Aon Hewitt Netherlands, contended that a one-size-fits-all system would not be the solution for the current multi-cultural society.An approach similar to that taken by the EU’s pension fund legislation, IORP II, would allow innovation for a new system, he said. In his opinion, a principles-based assessment framework would offer more potential to modernise defined contribution arrangements, such as lifecycle investments based on participants’ risk profile. Driessen’s vision of a new pensions system included the introduction of individual pensions accrual combined with collective investing – as is still being assessed by the Social and Economic Council – with participants choosing their risk profile.The consultancy’s CEO also argued in favour of employers being enabled to select their pensions provider rather than the current mandatory participation in sector pension funds.He said he was also in favour of allowing pension funds to pick their specific pensions contract.A “hard stop” for the old pension arrangements would be crucial for a transfer to a new pension contract in the Netherlands, Driessen also argued.  This would avoid discussions about who would fit the bill and problems in merging existing pension rights accrued under the current arrangements with new pensions accrual under a new pensions contract.  Driessen also warned that, after 10 years of what he said were fruitless discussions about a new pensions system, the risk was real that “emotions in society” could force pension funds to respond in some way.“We don’t want to end up in such a position,” he said.The Dutch government wants to introduce a new pension model in 2020, but many in the industry doubt this is achievable.last_img read more

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Seahawks sign Marshawn Lynch before showdown with 49ers

first_imgNew/old Seahawks’ RB Marshawn Lynch signed a deal for this year only – the last regular-season game and the postseason, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 24, 2019MORE: NFL Power RankingsWhile it’s unclear whether Lynch still has any juice left in his legs, acquiring a fan favorite and longtime locker room fixture could at the very least serve as a morale boost heading into Sunday’s rivalry showdown against San Francisco.Expect a raucous ovation at CenturyLink Field when Lynch is introduced. The Seahawks brought back the most popular running back in franchise history Monday night, signing Marshawn Lynch to add depth to their depleted backfield.An agreement materialized after running back Chris Carson hurt his hip this past weekend, joining fellow ball-carriers Rashaad Penny and C.J. Prosise on the injured list. Lynch, 33, has not played in an NFL game since last season as a member of the Raiders, but he is expected to suit up for Seattle in Week 17 against the 49ers due to the team’s lack of options. Lynch spent six memorable years with the Seahawks from 2010-15. During that stint, he rushed for more than 6,000 yards and recorded 57 rushing touchdowns. He also won a Super Bowl with the team in 2013 and appeared in another in 2014.last_img read more

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