Hertfordshire County Council has backed calls for long-term EU citizens to be allowed to stand as councillors after Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

Citizens from EU member states currently have the same rights to stand in county, borough or district council elections as British citizens.

That means – just like British citizens – they have to have lived or worked in the local authority area for 12 months before their nomination or be registered to vote in local government elections.

But as the scheduled date for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU gets closer there has been uncertainty as to whether EU citizens would still be able to stand.

The Government has now said that EU citizens will be able to stand in the local government elections next May and, if elected, they will be able to retain their seats for the duration of their time in office.

But a meeting of Hertfordshire County Council has unanimously backed calls for the government to clarify whether EU citizens – who have been long-term resident in the UK – will be able to stand for election after that.

At the meeting they agreed “that EU citizens who demonstrate their commitment to the UK by representing residents on local councils deserve better than this”.

And they said “that the Government must make it clear that, with or without a deal, EU citizens who are long-term resident in the UK and Hertfordshire will always be able to stand in council elections”.

The motion – which was unanimously agreed at the meeting – was proposed by Lib Dem councillor Chris White.