EUROPE

European Parliament to shrink after Brexit

Number of seats at EP to drop to 705 from 751 once UK leaves union

Anadolu Agency

Members of the European Parliament on Wednesday endorsed a draft decision by EU leaders to shrink the European Parliament seats from 751 to 705 following Brexit.

Under the changes, 27 of U.K.’s current 73 seats will be redistributed among member states to take into account recent population changes.

The remainder will remain in reserve in case more countries join the EU. A plan to use them to create a pan-EU constituency was rejected by MEPs in February.

The vote result allows leaders to give final approval to the plans at a summit later this month. It will determine the size of the assembly from 2019 until 2024.

The U.K. is set to leave the EU in March 2019, with a final deal still to be reached.

The first European Parliament elections took place in 1979 when there were nine member states.

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