Brexit Day: How will the European Parliament look after British MEPs leave?

The UK is set to leave the EU this Friday
The UK is set to leave the EU this Friday Copyright AP/Jean-Francois BadiasJean-Francois BADIAS
By Rachael Kennedy
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The departure of Britain's MEPs from the European Parliament is going to change the structure of the institution — but what will this look like?


The UK is set to leave the European Union on Friday, which means the country's MEPs will also lose their seats in the European Parliament.

It will trigger a shake-up in the structure of the institution when 73 seats become vacant — so what happens now?

How does it all begin?

The EU parliament will vote on Wednesday to give their consent to the Withdrawal Agreement — a vote that UK MEPs will also participate in.

It comes after the UK ratified the deal by pushing it through parliament and securing Royal Assent.

After the vote, scheduled for around 7pm CET, the parliament will conduct a short ceremony led by Parliamentary President David Sassoli for the departing MEPs.

What next?

The UK will vacate 73 of the parliament's 751 seats — but while the UK is losing them, the roles will remain in the parliament.

Under the terms of an agreement made last summer, 27 of the seats will be reallocated to other member states, while the remaining 46 will be empty in case a new country should join the bloc.

The European Parliament's head of press said the reallocation "ensures that no member state will lose seats."

He added: "Some member states will gain between one and five in order to remedy under-representation due to demographic developments."

To which countries will the reallocated seats go?

Those member states expected to gain a newly allocated seat(s) are now required to communicate with Sassoli the names of its additional MEPs. They will take their seats on February 1.

The following graph from provides a further idea on the breakdown of what a post-Brexit European Parliament could look like with its final 705 MEPs.

European Parliament

It sets out a possible picture for the European People's Party, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Identity and Democracy, European Conservatives and Reformists, European United Left–Nordic Green Left all accumulating seats.

However, Renew Europe and the Greens may incur a loss.

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