House of Commons Library

A short guide to the EU referendum

Published Tuesday, May 17, 2016

This Commons Library guide summarises a selection of our EU referendum related briefings. It describes the referendum process and considers the potential implications of either result following June’s vote.

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Map of Europe

On Thursday June 23 a referendum will be held on the UK’s membership of the European Union.

Although some will have decided long ago how they intend to vote, others are searching for authoritative, impartial information to help them make up their minds. This is especially important when the subject is so emotive, as it is in this case.

Commons Library research

This is where we come in. The House of Commons Library research service provides MPs with impartial, factual, quality information and analysis, on all subjects, to help them do their jobs well. We rigorously scrutinise the information we include in our briefing notes to make sure that it is true and useful.

The kind of detailed analysis we specialise in is difficult to distil into bite size, particularly where the issues are as wide ranging and complex as they are here.

A summary of the issues

This briefing summarises some of the issues that voters may want to consider when deciding where they will put their cross. In particular:

  • How is the EU likely to change if we vote to remain?
  • What would be the impact of withdrawal?
  • What is the process for withdrawal?

The content is taken from a selection of the briefings that the House of Commons Library has published on the issues related to the EU.

Our dedicated EU referendum page

We have published many detailed briefings over the past months relating to the referendum, and will keep updating and publishing new papers as the polling day draws closer.

You can access everything we’ve published on the debate on our dedicated EU referendum page on the UK Parliament website.

As well as our papers, you will also find reading lists we’ve pulled together and the latest polling information.

There are lots of other good places to go for information on the EU. We think you’ll find the following pages useful:


Further information

Let us know what you think

If you have any comments on this or any of our briefings please email [email protected]

Publication details

Commons Briefing papers CBP-7591

Author: Gavin Berman

Topics: Elections, EU institutions

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