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UK referendum to be held September 2016?

Murmurings coming out of the UK Prime Minister’s official residence, number 10 Downing Street seem to strongly hint that the UK’s referendum on continued UK membership of the European Union (EU) will be held in September 2016.

The Prime Minster, David Cameron much prefers an early as date as possible for the referendum for several complementary reasons. May 2016 was his preferred option with the referendum to be held on the same day as the Scottish and Welsh regional elections as well as England’s local council elections.

However, the UK’S watchdog on electoral practices, the electoral Commission, has ruled out a May 2016 date because it is believed that it would cause confusion amongst voters if it was held on the same day as representative elections.

Hence, the next credible date for a referendum is early Autumn 2016. This has the added advantage for Cameron’s leadership of having the referendum out of the way before his party’s national conference at the end of September. Tory strategists know that it would be a bloodbath at the national conference if the referendum was to be held after the conference.

However, certain unintended consequences cannot be avoided and a small split in the Tory party is a likely outcome. whatever the result.

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