web analytics

Early General Election

by Mick 0 Comments

Theresa May has announced an early general election to take place on 8th June 2017. She made the announcemnt on Tuesday 18th April 2017 outside 10 Downing Street.

Here is the full announcement (also available as a pdf file HERE):

I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet where we agreed that the Government should call a general election to be held on 8th June. I want to explain the reasons for that decision, what will happen next and the choice facing the British people when you come to vote in this election. Last summer after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership and since I became Prime Minister the Government has delivered precisely that. Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger since the referendum we have seen consumer confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.

We have also delivered on the mandate that we were handed by the referendum result. Britain is leaving the European Union and there can be no turning back. And as we look to the future the Government has the right plan for negotiating our new relationship with Europe. We want a deep and special partnership between a strong and successful European Union and a United Kingdom that is free to chart it’s own way in the world. That means we will regain control of our own money, our own laws and our own borders and we will be free to strike trade deals with old friends and new partners all around the world.

This is the right approach and it is in the national interest, but the other political parties oppose it. At this moment of enormous national significance there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. The country is coming together, but Westminster is not. In recent weeks Labour has threatened to vote against the final agreement we reach with the European Union, the Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill, the SNP say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain’s membership of the European Union and unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way. Our opponents believe that because the Government’s majority is so small, our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change course.

They are wrong.

They underestimate our determination to get the job done and I am not prepared to let them endanger the security of millions of working people across the country because what they are doing jeopardises the work we must do to prepare for Brexit at home and it weakens the Government’s negotiating position in Europe. If we do not hold a general election now their political game-playing will continue and the negotiations with the European Union will reach their most difficult stage in the run-up to the next scheduled election. Division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit and it will cause damaging uncertainty and instability to the country.

So we need a general election and we need one now because we have at this moment a one-off chance to get this done while the European Union agrees its negotiating position and before the detailed talks begin. I have only recently and reluctantly come to this conclusion. Since I became Prime Minister I have said that there should be no election until 2020, but now I have concluded that the only way to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead is to hold this election and seek your support for the decisions I must take.

And so tomorrow I will move a motion in the House of Commons calling for a general election to be held on the 8th of June. That motion, as set out by the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, will require a two-thirds majority of the House of Commons. So I have a simple challenge to the opposition parties. You have criticised the Government’s vision for Brexit, you have challenged our objectives, you have threatened to block the legislation we put before Parliament. This is your moment to show you mean it, to show you are notopposing the Government for the sake of it, to show that you do not treat politics as a game.

Let us tomorrow vote for an election, let us put forward our plans for Brexit and our alternative programmes for government and then let the people decide. And the decision facing the country will be all about leadership. It will be a choice between strong and stable leadership in the national interest with me as your Prime Minister, or weak and unstable coalition government led by Jeremy Corbyn, propped up by the Liberal Democrats who want to reopen the divisions of the referendum and Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.

Every vote for the Conservatives will make it harder for opposition politicians who want to stop me from getting the job done. Every vote for the Conservatives will make me stronger when I negotiate for Britain with the prime ministers, presidents and chancellors of the European Union. Every vote for the Conservatives will mean we can stick to our plan for a stronger Britain and take the right long-term decisions for a more secure future.

It was with reluctance that I decided the country needs this election, but it is with strong conviction that I say it is necessary to secure the strong and stable leadership the country needs to see us through Brexit and beyond. So, tomorrow, let the House of Commons vote for an election, let everybody put forward their proposals for Brexit and their programmes for Government, and let us remove the risk of uncertainty and instability and continue to give the country the strong and stable leadership it demands.

In order for the election to take place at least 2/3rds of MPs must agree to a motion in the House of Commons.

Under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, general elections are scheduled to take place every five years and the next general election was scheduled to take place on 7 May 2020. However, the Fixed-term Parliaments Act allows for an earlier election to take place:

    if a motion for an early general election is agreed either by at least two-thirds of the whole House or without division

or

    if a motion of no confidence is passed and no alternative government is confirmed by the Commons within 14 days.

At least two-thirds of the total number of MPs, 434 MPs, must vote for the motion to trigger an early general election. The motion could be passed without a division if there are no objections in the Chamber.

MPs voted on the following motion on 19th April 2017:

That there will be an early parliamentary general election

which was approved by 522 to 13

Thus, a general election has been scheduled for 8th June 2017.

What’s happened since the EU Referendum

24 July 2016

It’s been a month since the EU Referendum where a majority of the electorate voted for the UK to leave the EU.

Here is a summary of the major events that have occurred since then.

Financial

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney,  was quick to make a statement following the EU referendum result.

Statement from the Governor of the Bank of England following the EU referendum result

You can watch his statement at

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Pages/news/2016/056.aspx

FX Market

One of the first effects was seen in the financial markets with the Pound falling in value against the US dollar.

Looking at the spot inter-bank market rate, the biggest drop was on the 24 June showing the rate opening at 1.00GBP = 1.48USD and closing at 1.00GBP = 1.36USD.

The rate continued to fall, but more slowly for the next 2 weeks reaching 1.00GBP = 1.29USD on the 8 July.

On the 22 July the rate opened at 1GBP = 1.32 and closed at 1 GBP = 1.31 USD and appears to have settled down at least for the time being.

ref: https://www.poundsterlinglive.com/best-exchange-rates/british-pound-to-us-dollar-exchange-rate-on-2016-07-24

Precious Metals

As the pound was falling, the price of precious metals started to rise. On the 24 June, the spot price for Gold was £955.84 per troy ounce rising to a high of £1,056.79 per troy ounce on the 6 July and currently, on the 22 July, the price was £1,008.66

Stock Market

The Brexit vote caused a wave of panic selling by those gamblers, sorry traders, in the Stock Market with the Footsie 100 Index falling steeply after trading began but recovering to finish 199 (3.1%) points down at 6138.69 on the 24 June. After the weekend, the selling continued and the Footsie stood at 5982.2 at the close. After that, stocks started to rise and the Footsie was at 6577.83 by the 1 July and on the 22 July was at 6730.48 (which is around where it was in Aug 2015!).

ftse100

Political

The result also caused various political upheavals.

Conservative Party

Prior to the referendum Cameron had claimed (18th June) that he was the best person to negotiate any post-referendum deal and would remain “whatever” the result.

from the Independent newspaper:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-david-cameron-resign-step-down-boris-johnson-brexit-stay-as-prime-minister-result-poll-a7088811.html

from the Telegraph newspaper:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/18/david-cameron-insists-he-will-stay-on-as-prime-minister-regardle/

However, Cameron was quick off the mark and decided to resign as Prime Minister as the result hadn’t gone his way.

Cameron’s Resignation Statement

also at

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/eu-referendum-outcome-pm-statement-24-june-2016

In his resignation speech, he said he would stay until a new Prime Minister was in place, which was expected to happen by the 1st October.

Following Cameron’s statement 5 MPs presented themselves as candidates for the leadership: Stephen Crabb, Liam Fox, Michael Gove, Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May. Nominations closed at noon on 30th June 2016.

(Boris Johnson, an early favourite, decided not to run in the competition for leader after Michael Gove announced that he would run).

The process for election as leader of the party (and thus the next Prime Minister) is first put to a serious of ballots (voted by MPs) to determine 2 candidates who are sent forward to a ballot by all Conservative party members.

In the 1st ballot (5th July) May obtained more than half the votes of MPs with 165 votes, followed by Leadsom with 66, Gove with 48, Crabb with 34 and Fox with 16 votes. Fox was eliminated and Crabb withdrew leaving May, Leadsom and Gove to contest the next ballot.

In the 2nd ballot (7th July) May obtained 199 votes followed by Leadsom with 84 and Gove with 46.
Gove was eliminated, leaving May and Leadsom to proceed to the final ballot by all party members.

A few days later, 11 July, Andrea Leadsom withdrew from the contest and Theresa May was duly elected, unopposed, as the new leader of the Conservative Party without the need for a ballot by members.

On the 13 July, David Cameron relinquished his position as Prime Minister and Theresa May accepted a request from the Queen to become Prime Minister and immediately started creating her new government team.

Most notable positions in her cabinet are Philip Hammond as Chancellor, Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary, Amber Rudd as Home Secretary, David Davis as Secretary of State for Exiting the EU (Brexit Minister) and Liam Fox as head of the Department for International Trade. Andrea Leadsom is appointed Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural affairs (DEFRA). Michael Gove and Stephen Crabb have not been appointed to positions in the new cabinet.

Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn was elected as leader of the Labour Party after Ed Milliband resigned as leader following the 2015 General Election. His election as leader was never fully respected by his fellow MPs even though he had over whelming support from ordinary members of the Labour Party. (New members who had paid a joining fee of £3.00 were able to vote in the election).

After criticism of his lacklustre support for the Remain campaign,  the sacking of his Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn (25 June) who had expressed no-confidence in Corbyn’s leadership,  and resignations from over 20 members of the Shadow Cabinet,  a no confidence vote in his leadership  (28 June)  supported by 172 Labour MPs  vs 40 MPS supporting Corbyn resulted in a formal challenge to his leadership.

Angela Eagle announced her intention to contest the leadership on 11 July. After some debate by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Labour Party (12 July), it was determined that Corbyn could be included in the contest without needing nominations from other Labour MPs.  The NEC also decided to vary the rules that so that new members who had joined in the last 6 months  would not be allowed to vote. (130000 new members have joined the Labour Party paying their joining fee of £3.00 since the EU referendum). Registered supporters were, however, given the option to pay a further fee of £25  which would allow them a vote.

Owen Smith announced his intention to contest the leadership on 13 July.

Prior to nominations closing on 20 July, Angela Eagle withdrew leaving a straight contest between Corbyn and Owen Smith.

The ballot is not due to close until 21 September so the leadership contest is going to drag on for some time yet.

UKIP

Nigel Farage announced on the 4 July his intention to resign as the UKIP leader as he had achieved his aim which was to get the UK out of the EU .

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36702384

SNP

The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon was quick to make a statement (24 June) claiming it was democratically unacceptable for Scotland to be taken out of the EU against its will. She also stated that a  second referendum for independence for Scotland from the UK was highly likely. This is a theme that is likely to remain for some time.

Nicola Sturgeon travelled to Brussels on the 29 June in an attempt to talk with EU leaders about Scotland  retaining their membership of the EU. She was rebuffed by Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, who felt it would not be appropriate, although she did meet with Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, and Martin Shulz, President of the European Parliament.

It is likely that the only way for Scotland to become members of the EU would be to follow the application process in the same way as for any other State. This could only happen if Scotland were independent from the UK

 

EU Referendum 2016 – Results

by Mick 0 Comments

The referendum on continued membership of the European Union was held on June 23 2016 and the results were declared on June 24 2016.

The following figures were obtained from the Electoral Commission

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk

The total electorate in the UK (the number of people registered to vote) was 46,500,001

England: 38,981,662 (83.832%)
Scotland: 3,987,112 (8.574%)
Wales: 2,270,272 (4.882%)
Northern Ireland: 1,260,955 (2.712%)

The total number of votes cast was

Remain – 16,141,241 (48.1%)

Leave – 17,410,742 (51.9%)

giving an overall turnout of 72.15%

There were 25,359 (0.06%) rejected ballot papers.

12,922,659 (27.79%) people did not use their vote

Further analysis of the figures shows how the individual countries voted, with England and Wales having majorities to LEAVE,  while Scotland and Northern Ireland having majorities to REMAIN

RegionResults

The actual EU Referendum results data (in CSV format) is available and provided by the Electoral Commission at

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/find-information-by-subject/elections-and-referendums/upcoming-elections-and-referendums/eu-referendum/electorate-and-count-information

Is the EU referendum legally binding ?

Referendums in the UK, in constitutional terms,  are not legally binding so the Government could (in theory) ignore the results although this is unlikely to happen. It is, however, necessary at some point for the UK Government  to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, requiring a vote in parliament, in order to ultimately leave the EU.

Making up your mind

by Mick 0 Comments

Organisations and individuals for both sides of the argument appear to have been using strategies based on Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD). This makes it difficult in deciding which way to vote because it is hard to interpret the information and whether the data being presented is accurate or not.

So how can you decide? Here is a summary of some, hopefully useful, information.

The Common Market was designed to create a Free Trade area among its member states by removing trade barriers and establishing a common external trade policy with non members. The creation of a single European economic area based on a common market was the fundamental objective of the Treaty of Rome. The UK joined the Common Market (EEC) in 1973 and a referendum on membership in 1975 voted to remain as members. 1 A popular impression at the time was that the referendum was to decide whether the UK wanted to be a member of a Common Market providing Free Trade with and between other European countries.

The EEC became the European Union (EU) in a later treaty 2 which was agreed to by the UK Government and politicians at the time. There are currently 28 members states. 3

The forthcoming referendum (23 June 2016) is the first opportunity, since the referendum in 1975, for the Electorate in the UK to support continued membership of the EU or to leave the EU altogether. 4 The Labour manifesto for the 2005 election promised a referendum but never delivered. 5

The UK is one of 28 “voices” in the EU. The EU will increase in size in the future with more countries joining. While individual countries have a voice at the EU negotiating table, their influence diminishes as more countries join the EU.

The European council defines the EU’s overall political direction and priorities and sets the EU’s policy agenda. The members of the European Council are the heads of state or government of the 28 EU member states, the European Council President and the President of the European Commission.  6

The EU parliament is made up of 751 members who are directly elected by member states every 5 years using proportional representation. The number of MEPs from each country are determined by the population of that country with the UK currently having 73 MEPs (just under 10% of the total).  7

The European Commission is the EU’s executive body 8. It represents the interests of the European Union as a whole (not the interests of individual countries).

  • Propose legislation
  • Enforce European law
  • Set objectives and priorities for action
  • Manage and implement EU policies and the budget
  • Represent the Union outside Europe

A new team of 28 Commissioners (one from each EU Member State) is appointed every five years. Past members from the UK, chosen by the government of the time, include Leon Brittain, Neil Kinnock and Peter Mandelson.

The combined size of the EU gives it a major voice in the world where it represents its member countries on global issues such as

  • Climate Change
  • Energy
  • Environmental Issues
  • Terrorism
  • Migration

The EU has an interest and/or influence in many different areas affecting the UK, from Human Rights to Transport and Trade.

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

Agriculture, Audiovisual and media, Budget, Climate action, Competition, Consumers, Culture, Customs, Development and Cooperation, Digital economy & society, Economic and monetary affairs, Education, Employment and social affairs, Energy, Enlargement, Enterprise, Environment, EU citizenship, Food safety, Foreign and security policy, Fraud prevention, Health, Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection, Human rights, Institutional affairs, Justice and Home Affairs, Maritime affairs and fisheries, Multilingualism, Regional policy, Research and innovation, Single market, Space, Sport, Taxation, Trade, Transport

The EU Constitution guarantees the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital within the Union (the so called “four freedoms”) and strictly prohibits any discrimination on grounds of nationality.

The UK can trade freely with other members in the EU without tariffs, or other restrictions, in a combined market of more than 500 million people. The EU negotiates Trade Agreements with other countries on behalf of all member states providing a powerful worldwide negotiating position.

The EU has created a number of directives and regulations, relating to Workers’ Rights that have been enshrined in European Law, from minimum paid leave to increased pregnancy and maternity rights.

Every EU worker has certain minimum rights 9 relating to:

  • health and safety at work: general rights and obligations, workplaces, work equipment, specific risks and vulnerable workers
  • equal opportunities for women and men: equal treatment at work, pregnancy, maternity leave, parental leave
  • protection against discrimination based on sex, race, religion, age, disability and sexual orientation
  • labour law: part-time work, fixed-term contracts, working hours, employment of young people, informing and consulting employees

Citizens of Europe have the freedom to work study and travel within EU countries without restriction. Freedom of  movement across the EU opens up job opportunities for UK workers willing to travel and enables UK companies to easily employ workers from other EU countries.

Benefits (minor) arising as a result of “freedom of movement” rules include

  • The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) 10
  • Driving licences are valid across Europe
  • Mobile phone roaming charges are being removed across the EU. 11
  • etc

they demonstrate the ability of the EU to introduce common, universal benefits  which are the same for all EU citizens.

Another side effect, from the freedom of movement rules, concerns social security payments. All countries have their own system, some more generous than others. Payments can be claimed by any EU citizen in the country where they are resident according to that countries rules not the rules of their home country. This is somewhat contentious in the UK (because of the perceived generosity of the UK ?) and possibly other countries which may have more generous payments than others.

There are also other financial differences between countries, e.g. in minimum wage payments and cost of living etc.

Could the EU impose the same minimum wage and the same social payments across all member states in the EU ? This could happen if there was closer fiscal integration between member states.

One of the fundamental principles, defined in the treaties, is the “ever closer union” of member states. The exact details of this principle are not defined but are likely to include closer fiscal and political union.

Closer fiscal integration would mean a central European authority would set spending and tax rates for all member countries.

Political union is where member countries transfer most, or all sovereignty, to a joint government which is recognised internationally and has common home and judicial policies, a common foreign policy and security policy.

One of the moves in this direction was the introduction of a common currency, the Euro, across member states. Although the UK opted out of joining the other countries using the Euro, joining the Eurozone has not been completely ruled out in the future.

The world financial problems circa 2007-2008 subsequently caused problems for a number of countries in the Eurozone, most noticeably Ireland, Greece and Portugal.  The necessary process for their recovery  was determined by the EU and austerity measures were imposed on these countries.  12

Remaining in the EU

It is unlikely that  any radical changes would be made in the short term and it is pure speculation to try and guess what would happen in the future.

So here’s my pure speculation.

There are a number of indicators of how the EU wants to proceed in the future.

In the longer term the EU is likely to want to explore the possibility of closer fiscal and political union as mentioned in the existing treaties. Whether this would mean the EU becoming the “United States of Europe” or the “Federated States of Europe” is unknown, but is a concept worth considering as a future aim.

It is difficult to know how this would affect the UK and how committed the UK would be to closer integration although a referendum vote to remain could be viewed as the UK providing their approval for the EU to continue on its way.

As the size of the EU increases, the ability of the UK to influence decisions may be diminished simply because the proportion of their voting power is reduced. It is also uncertain whether it would be necessary for majority voting to be used more often in order to get the business done, but any changes to  the voting process could require treaty change.

From a financial point of view, items such as the EU Budget rebate, currently granted to the UK, could come under closer scrutiny and be reduced or even removed completely.

A question mark remains over the ability of the EU being able to effectively handle crises which may occur. The recent, and continuing, refugee crisis highlights the dis-united nature of member states in coming up with an acceptable resolution or plan for resolution.

Another issue may be the ability of the EU to ensure mechanisms for applying sanctions, such as fines etc. to member states who fail to obey EU law. 13

Leaving the EU

If the UK were to leave the EU, the process for leaving is defined by Treaty (Article 50) and the UK should begin a period of negotiation to decide on its terms for leaving and its initial relationship with the EU post exit. 14 This allows for a maximum period of 2 years (unless extended) in which to negotiate suitable terms for separation.

Leaving the EU is likely to be a staged process and will have significant geopolitical and economic consequences trying to unravel forty years of integration in a single step. There is an interesting document, Flexcit which describes a possible multi-phase approach to exit. 15

For other aspects of leaving the EU, it is difficult to predict what would happen in the short term but uncertainty can breed fear and it is possible for some disruption in the world financial markets.

A vote to leave is likely to throw global markets into turmoil and undermine confidence in the 28-nation trading bloc.

In the currency markets, Sterling appears to weaken as polls show an increase in the support to Leave although stock markets have remained relatively calm in the run-up to the referendum

US investors may also be vulnerable to a fall-out from a vote to exit. They have increased their allocation to British equities since May of last year, according to a separate report by Nasdaq OMX Group’s advisory-services unit. Those in Britain, on the other hand, have been the biggest sellers, it showed.

The euro weakened against the dollar on concern an exit would damage trade and encourage other members to renegotiate their relationships with the EU. 16

The long term future of the EU could also be threatened following the withdrawal of the UK but while some additional member countries may decide to hold similar referendums and vote to leave, there would likely always be a core of countries remaining to carry on the European dream.

In terms of its future trading position, while difficult to predict what would happen, the UK has an impressive résumé which may help 17

  • The UK has the fifth-largest national economy (and second-largest in the EU) measured by nominal GDP.
  • The ninth-largest in the world (and second-largest in the EU) measured by purchasing power parity (PPP).
  • The UK economy currently makes up 4% of world GDP.
  • The UK has been the fastest growing economy in the G7 for four consecutive years with 2.1% year on year growth in Q1 2016.
  • In 2014 the UK was the ninth-largest exporter in the world and the fifth-largest importer,  had the second largest stock of inward foreign direct investment and the second-largest stock of outward foreign direct investment.
  • The UK is one of the world’s most globalized economies.

 


 

Notes:

  1. http://eureferendum.kf12.com/the-1975-common-market-referendum/
  2. Consolidated Version of the Treaty on European Union
  3. http://eureferendum.kf12.com/what-is-the-eu/
  4. http://eureferendum.kf12.com/eu-referendum-june-23-2016/
  5. Extract from the 2005 Labour party manifesto: The new Constitutional Treaty ensures the new Europe can work effectively, and that Britain keeps control of key national interests like foreign policy, taxation, social security and defence.The Treaty sets out what the EU can do and what it cannot. It strengthens the voice of national parliaments and governments in EU affairs. It is a good treaty for Britain and for the new Europe. We will put it to the British people in a referendum and campaign whole-heartedly for a ‘Yes’ vote to keep Britain a leading nation in Europe.
  6. http://eureferendum.kf12.com/the-european-council/
  7. http://eureferendum.kf12.com/the-european-parliament/
  8.  http://eureferendum.kf12.com/the-european-commission/ 
  9. http://eureferendum.kf12.com/workers-rights-in-the-eu/
  10. http://eureferendum.kf12.com/european-health-insurance-card-ehic/
  11. http://eureferendum.kf12.com/mobile-phone-roaming-charges/
  12. An interesting article that examines the austerity measures imposed on Ireland claims that the Irish recovery was built on human rights violations and undermined long term social and economic development. http://www.irishexaminer.com/viewpoints/analysis/irelands-austerity-success-is-no-model-for-greece-340662.html
  13. http://eureferendum.kf12.com/uk-beef-embargo/
  14. Although no other member state has left the EU, Greenland voted in a referendum in 1985 to leave the EEC, following disputes over fishing rights. Greenland was originally part of Denmark which joined the Common Market / EEC together with the UK in 1973. Greenland gained their independence from Denmark in 1979 and subsequently held a referendum on their continued membership of the EEC
  15. Flexcit – The Market solution to leaving the EU http://www.eureferendum.com/documents/flexcit.pdfThis is not to say that this process would be followed but is an example of how the exit process could be achieved.

    A possible obstacle to the exit process could be The European Communities Act 1972 legislation. This is an Act of Parliament providing for the incorporation of European Union law into the domestic law of the UK. In the event of a vote to leave, would it may be necessary to repeal the Act and would MPs vote accordingly ? 18http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1972/68

  16. http://www.businesspost.ie/brexit-could-send-europe-shares-down-25-per-cent/
  17. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_Kingdom

Referendums in the EU by member states

by Mick 0 Comments

A UK Parliament, House of Commons Briefing Paper was published on 22 April 2016 showing referendums held by EU countries since 1972

Referendums have been held in both candidate states and Member States on EU membership.
EU Treaty amendments, EU enlargement, Economic and Monetary Union. New treaties or new constitutional arrangements have also attracted referendums in some Member States. These may be binding, advisory or consultative.

This document charts referendums held since 1972 on EU matters in candidate and Member States and in Switzerland on its relations with the EU, with brief details on turnout and results.

It also outlines the positions of France and Austria on holding a referendum on EU enlargement, particularly with regard to a possible Turkish accession.

The full report can be found at

http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/CBP-7570

Government Papers

by Mick 0 Comments

The following documents were prepared by the government, published by the Cabinet Office and Presented to Parliament pursuant to section 7 of the European Union Referendum Act 2015

Section7

Alternatives to membership: possible models for the United Kingdom outside the European Union

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/504661/Alternatives_to_membership_possible_models_for_the_UK_outside_the_EU_Accessible.pdf

Rights and obligations of European Union membership

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/516501/Rights_and_obligations_of_European_Union_membership_web_version.pdf

EU Topics and Policies

The EU has an interest and/or influence in many different areas, from Human Rights to Transport and Trade.

Useful links describing their activities in these areas are provided by the EU.

If you want to know what the EU is doing in these areas use the following links as a starting point.

Detail on policies on various subjects are available at

http://ec.europa.eu/policies/

Also check information on the work of the EU Commission in their Departments (Directorates-General) and services provided on the EU web-site at

http://ec.europa.eu/about/ds_en.htm

EU Referendum June 23 2016

by Mick

As per the European Union Referendum Act 2015, voters in the United Kingdom have an opportunity to vote in a referendum on Thursday 23 June 2016 to decide whether the UK should remain as members of the European Union.

css.php