Referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union
On this page you can find out about the referendum on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union (EU).
Our focus is on voters and on putting their interests first.
Our objectives for referendums are that:
- they should be well-run and produce results that are accepted
- there should be integrity and transparency of campaign funding and expenditure
The final national totals for the EU Referendum have been declared:
Remain – 16,141,241
Leave – 17,410,742
The Chief Counting Officer (CCO) will publish a log to capture issues that in her opinion may have a widespread or significant impact on the delivery of the referendum or affect confidence in the result together with the actions that have been taken to address these. The log will also include details of any exceptions to the CCO's directions (PDF) that have been granted.
We have specific responsibilities and functions in relation to the delivery and regulation of referendums held under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (PPERA).
These apply to any referendum Bill brought before the UK Parliament unless specifically stated otherwise.
Our responsibilities under PPERA include:
- Commenting on the intelligibility of the referendum question.
- Registering organisations or individuals who want to campaign in the referendum.
- Monitoring spending on referendum campaigning, in line with the referendum spending limits imposed by PPERA.
- Considering applications for designation as lead campaign groups for each referendum outcome.
- Ensuring that designated organisations (if appointed) have access to certain assistance.
- Reporting on the administration of the referendum and referendum campaign spending.
The Chair of the Commission, or someone they appoint, must act as Chief Counting Officer for the referendum and is responsible for certifying the outcome of the referendum.
|Friday 15 April||Start of the referendum period|
|5pm Friday 3 June||Northern Ireland deadline for applying for a postal and proxy vote (except for emergency proxies)|
|Tuesday 7 June||Deadline to register to vote|
|5pm Wednesday 8 June||Great Britain deadline for applying for a postal vote|
|5pm Wednesday 15 June|
Great Britain deadline for applying for a proxy vote (except for emergency proxies)
Northern Ireland deadline for an emergency proxy vote
|Thursday 23 June||Polling day|
|5pm Thursday 23 June||Great Britain deadline for an emergency proxy vote|
|Friday 23 September||Deadline to submit spending return for registered campaigners that spent £250,000 or under during the referendum period|
|Friday 23 December||Deadline to submit spending return for registered campaigners that spent over £250,000 during the referendum period|
EU Referendum Act
The European Union Referendum Act (the Act) received Royal Assent on 17 December 2015 and was brought into force on Monday 1 February 2016.
The Act makes additions and amendments to the framework set out in PPERA to establish a regulatory framework for a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU.
Registering as a campaigner at the EU referendum
Individuals or organisations must register with us to become a ‘registered campaigner’ before spending more than £10,000 on referendum campaigning during the referendum period, which began on 15 April and ends on polling day, 23 June.
Separate registration is required even if an individual or organisation is already registered with us as a non-party campaigner or political party. All registered campaigners must follow the rules on spending, donations and reporting.
For more information on eligible individuals and organisations see Campaigning and registering for EU Referendum campaigners (PDF). Registration can be completed via our secure online registration area or by completing and returning Form EUR1 (PDF) to us.
You can view the details of campaigners that are registered with us on our online database.
Designating lead campaigners
A designated lead campaigner is the lead campaign group for one side of the debate. It will act as the lead campaign group on behalf of those campaigning for that outcome.
On 13 April 2016, we designated The In Campaign Ltd as the lead campaigner for the remain outcome and Vote Leave Ltd as the lead campaigner for the Leave outcome at the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.
Guidance for EU referendum campaigners
We register campaigners in the EU referendum and provide advice and guidance on the spending and donations rules that campaigners must follow. Our guidance is available to help campaigners comply with the rules.
We carried out an assessment of the referendum question, to make sure that it is clear and easy for voters to understand.