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European Union (Referendum on the Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

A Bill to make provision for the holding of a referendum in the United Kingdom and Gibraltar on whether the United Kingdom should accept the outcome of negotiations between the Government and the European Union regarding the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union

A

BILL

TO

Make provision for the holding of a referendum in the United Kingdom and Gibraltar on whether the United Kingdom should accept the outcome of negotiations between the Government and the European Union regarding the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 The referendum

(1) A referendum is to be held on whether the United Kingdom should accept the outcome of the negotiations between the Government and the European Union regarding the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

(2) The Secretary of State must, by regulations, appoint the day on which the referendum is to be held.

(3) The day appointed under subsection (2)

(a) must be no later than 28 February 2019, and

(b) must not be 3 May 2018.

(4) The wording of the question that is to appear on the ballot papers is to be decided by the Electoral Commission.

(5) The question under subsection (4)

(a) must be in relation to whether the United Kingdom should accept the outcome of the negotiations between the Government and the European Union regarding the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, or remain in the EU; and

(b) must be published by the Electoral Commission before the beginning of the final five week period.

(6) In this section “the final five week period” means the period of five weeks ending with the date of the referendum under subsection (1).

2 Entitlement to vote in the referendum

(1) Those entitled to vote in the referendum are—

(a) the persons who, on the date of the referendum, would be entitled to vote as electors at a parliamentary election in any constituency;

(b) the persons who would be so entitled to vote under paragraph (a), except for the fact that they will be aged 16 or 17 on the date on which the referendum is to be held;

(c) the persons who would be so entitled to vote under paragraph (a) by virtue of the fact that they are citizens of the United Kingdom, but do not currently reside in the United Kingdom;

(d) the persons who, on that date, are disqualified by reason of being peers from voting as electors at parliamentary elections but—

(i) would be entitled to vote as electors at a local government election in any electoral area in Great Britain,

(ii) would be entitled to vote as electors at a local election in any district electoral area in Northern Ireland, or

(iii) would be entitled to vote as electors at a European Parliamentary election in any electoral region by virtue of section 3 of the Representation of the People Act 1985 (peers resident outside the United Kingdom); and

(e) the persons who, on the date of the referendum—

(i) would be entitled to vote in Gibraltar as electors at a European Parliamentary election in the combined electoral region in which Gibraltar is comprised, and

(ii) fall within subsection (2).

(2) A person falls within this subsection if the person is either--

(a) a Commonwealth citizen, or

(b) a citizen of the Republic of Ireland.

(3) In subsection (1)(d)(i) “local government election” includes a municipal election in the City of London (that is, an election to the office of mayor, alderman, common councilman or sheriff and also the election of any officer elected by the mayor, aldermen and liverymen in common hall).

3 Duty to publish information on outcome of negotiations between member states

(1) The Secretary of State must publish a report which contains (alone or with other material) a statement setting out what has been agreed by member states following negotiations relating to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.

(2) The report must be published before the beginning of the final five week period.

(3) “The final five week period” has the meaning given in section 1(5).

(4) A copy of the report published under this section must be laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State.

4 Extent, commencement and short title

(1) This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom and to Gibraltar.

(2) For the purposes of the referendum, Part 7 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (whose extent is set out in section 163 of that Act) extends also to Gibraltar.

(3) This section comes into force on the day on which this Act is passed.

(4) The remaining provisions of this Act come into force on such day as the Secretary of State may by regulations appoint.

(5) Different days may be appointed for different purposes.

(6) This Act may be cited as the European Union (Referendum on the Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2017.



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