Tuesday, September 01, 2015

DC accepts Electoral Commission recommendation on referendum wording

Prime Minister David Cameron has accepted a recommendation by the Electoral Commission to change the wording of the EU referendum question to avoid favouring the pro-EU side.

Downing Street has announced that the government will table an amendment to the EU referendum bill to reflect the new wording.

The move by No 10 means that voters will be asked whether Britain should remain a member of the EU or whether the UK should leave the EU. The government had intended to ask voters simply whether the UK should remain a member of the EU, prompting the Electoral Commission to warn that this could favour the status quo in the referendum.

The prime minister’s spokeswoman said: “We will follow the recommendation of the Electoral Commission by tabling an amendment to the bill. The government’s approach has been to follow the Electoral Commission’s advice.”

The move means that, unlike the Scottish referendum, there will not be a yes and a no campaign. Instead, there will be a campaign to remain in the EU and a campaign to leave.

More details on on the Guardian site at



Jim said...

Certainly a welcome development for as neutral a question as possible.

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?'

The responses would be ‘Remain a member of the European Union’ / ‘Leave the European Union’.

Although it raises some interesting questions for the campaigns on both sides, the most obvious of course is what does either mean? for the "remain" does that mean the status quo, or does it mean to accept full on membership including the Euro? and for the "leave" well what does that mean? is it to keep the single market and just ditch the political union? or is it to ditch the lot UKIP style?

lots of debating to be had during the campaign, which is good. It also reduces the possibility of the "question was leading" argument later (from those who "lost") - only Purdah to go and there we could actually see a fair referendum.

Chris Whiteside said...

"only purdah to go" - looks like that one is going to be rethought as well