Do you know the date of the EU referendum?

May 31st, 2016

Message from Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor and Angharad Smith, President of the Students’ Union

The date of the referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave is set for Thursday 23 June. The outcome of the vote will have profound implications for the future of our country. While it is both the Students’ Union and University’s position to maintain a neutral stance on the referendum, it is vital that both organisations encourage you to exercise your democratic right to vote and register.

A new poll conducted by YouthSight for Universities UK has revealed that over half of UK university students do not know when the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union is taking place, with that figure rising to 70% in the East Midlands. In addition to this, many of those who are registered to vote may well be registered at the wrong address, since the referendum, which is on 23 June 2016, falls outside of term time. You can be registered to vote at two different addresses. Students can be registered at their home and term time addresses. However, it is an offence to vote twice.

Millions of students in the UK could play a decisive role in this referendum debate. As students are spread all over the country, their voting power was diluted at the general election. That will not be the case in a binary stay/leave national referendum. If the stay and leave sides are as close as recent polls suggest, then the two million UK students could clearly affect the result one way or another.

The outcome of the EU referendum is important for students who will live through the future it creates.

Ways in which you can vote can be found online

In order to vote in person, you must be registered on the electoral role by Tuesday 7 June. Registration takes five minutes and can be completed on the Government’s website. You may need your National Insurance number to register.

To register by postal vote, you must complete a separate postal vote application form. The deadline to return this is:

  • Wednesday 8 June at 5pm – IF you are already registered on the electoral roll when completing the postal cote application
  • Wednesday 7 June at midnight – IF you are NOT already registered on the electoral role when completing the postal vote application form

Who is eligible to vote

You can vote in the referendum if you are registered to vote and are;

  • A British or Irish citizen living the UK
  • A Commonwealth citizen living in the UK who has to leave to remain in the UK or who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years
  • An Irish citizen living overseas who was born in Northern Ireland and who has been registered to vote in Northern Ireland in the last 15 years

The outcome of the EU referendum – whatever it may be – will affect you. You and your peers will have to live with the consequences for far longer than those who are making today’s policies. If you want to have a say on this important issue, you need to use your vote. You can register to vote online here.

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