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In/out EU referendum question: we help

[5 Nov 2013] The UK’s Electoral Commission has published its report on the proposed wording that voters will face in the nationwide referendum that may take place in 2016 about whether the UK should remain in the European Union.

The Electoral Commission consulted Plain Language Commission for our professional opinion about the various proposed wordings, and our work is quoted in the report.

The Electoral Commission’s report gives an insight into how much people know about European membership and how confident they are about voting on such a big issue. It also shows what factors the Electoral Commission weighed in the balance when putting its recommendations to Parliament. It proposes two wordings and leaves the choice to Parliament. The choice would be between:

‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?’

The response options would be yes and no.

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

The response options would be Remain a member of the European Union and Leave the European Union.

Click here for the main report.



User testing is a hot topic in the plain-language field, and there is a detailed 80-page report (just 25,000 words) by researchers GfK on what the public thought of the various wording options proposed. Click here for this.

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