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Electoral Commission statement on the Government’s proposed date for the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union

News release published: 20-02-2016

Responding to the Government's proposed date for a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union, an Electoral Commission spokesperson said:

"We have committed to briefing Parliament on our views regarding the proposed date and package of regulations to set the rules for campaigners, administrators and the Commission before these are debated. We will carefully consider the Government's proposal and will publish our views at the same time as we send our briefing to parliamentarians."

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For further information contact:

Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704 or press@electoralcommission.org.uk  

Out of office hours 07789 920 414

Notes to editors

  1. The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Our aim is integrity and public confidence in the UK's democratic process. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections.
  2. The Electoral Commission has specific responsibilities and functions in relation to the delivery and regulation of referendums held under PPERA, which applies to any referendum Bill brought before the UK Parliament unless specifically stated otherwise. For more information see our media briefing on the EU Referendum.
  3. In addition to proposing a date for the referendum, a set of regulations must be laid by the Government to also establish the length of the referendum period, the timing for the designation process, the detailed conduct rules for the administration of the referendum, and the schedule of pre-poll reports for campaigners.
  4. The Commission has recommended that best practice for referendums is that all legislation (including the introduction of regulations to Parliament for approval) should be clear at least six months before it is required to be implemented or complied with, although this is not a legal requirement.
  5. Following Royal Assent of the European Union Referendum Act in December 2015, the Commission published a statement of readiness and preparedness for delivering the EU referendum, which outlined that arrangements were well-advanced. An updated assessment of progress with arrangements for the management of the referendum will be published shortly.

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