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.
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:
Who is eligible to vote
You can vote in the referendum if you are registered to vote and are;
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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