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In-out question shaken all about by Electoral Commission

[30 Sept 2015] The Electoral Commission’s recommendation that the UK Government alter the proposed EU in-out referendum question has been accepted after the original wording was said to be slanted. The Commission’s chair, Jenny Watson, told the Daily Mail (2 Sept) that the question – ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?’ – was ‘easy to understand’ but ‘It was not seen by voters as entirely unbiased’. Eurosceptics felt it painted their position as negative, as the possible answers were ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.

The new question and answers will be nearly three times longer: ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’, with the possible responses being ‘Remain a member of the European Union’ and ‘Leave the European Union’.

As with the recent Scottish referendum question, the Electoral Commission asked Plain Language Commission to give a professional opinion on the proposed question.

The referendum is expected to take place by the end of 2017, after the Government has sought to renegotiate the UK’s terms of membership.

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