With the departure of 73 British MEPs, the Eurosceptic Identity and Democracy (ID) group will receive an extra three seats in the Parliament. The increase will therefore solidify the party’s standing as the fourth largest in Parliament.
In a blow to pro-European groups, the Socialist & Democrats and Renew Europe groups will lose a combined 17 seats.
As the UK MEPs leave on January 31, the 73 seats will be spread across all the parties with the Parliament reducing from 751 to 705.
Harald Vilimsky, an MEP from ID and the secretary-general of Austria’s Eurosceptic Freedom Party (FPO) said: “We will become the fourth group in the Parliament and we are very proud of that.”
Due to Brexit, the EU will also allocate 27 of the 73 seats to “under-represented” member states.
As a result, France and Ireland will receive additional seats in order to counter the imbalance in Parliament.
Commenting on the increase in his group’s MEPs, Gilles Lebereton said: “This means we are no longer part of the small groups.
“If the three main groups can’t agree on something, our vote will be crucial and can change the balance.”
With the rise in MEPs within ID, the Eurosceptic group will now have more allocated time to deliver speeches during EU Parliament plenary sessions.
Brexit Party MEPs made their final appearance in Strasbourg this week as the UK leaves the trade bloc on January 31.
In a show of defiance against the EU, Brexit Party MEPs led a “huge revolt” against the Parliament.
In a video posted on Twitter, the MEPs broke a rule within Parliament to wave their flags during a plenary session.
Posting the video on Twitter, MEP for East of England, Michael Heaver wrote: “EU now don’t even want national flags on display in the EuroParl.
“We weren’t having it.
“Magnificent moment of unity just now.
“We are proud of our flag!”
Rupert Lowe, MEP for West Midlands also wrote: “Huge revolt against the EU’s national flag ban in the chamber.
“Nobody wants their artificial, forced idea of an EU Identity.”
The bill is scheduled to return to the Commons next week where MPs will give it further scrutiny.
While there, MPs will make final amendments to the bill which if added, will have to be debated in the Lords before being passed for Royal Assent on or before January 31.
Following the departure, the UK will move to the transition period where Mr Johnson will have 11 months to complete negotiations.