The UK’s EU referendum 2016 explained

The Commons Library and Lords Library has produced impartial analysis of the UK’s referendum for remaining in or leaving the European Union. It presents the different arguments and opinions on potential “Brexit” and on remaining in the EU.

No further updates to this page

Please note that there will be no further updates to this page as we are now entering the period known as ‘purdah’.

Public bodies are restricted from publishing certain types of information during the final 28 days before the poll. However, the content of this page and the links to related material will remain available.

About purdah

The EU referendum campaign briefing paper includes information about the timetable for the EU referendum campaign and the rules that apply.

The UK's EU referendum will be held on 23 June 2016.

Background to the UK’s EU referendum 2016

  • Process of leaving
  • Relevant legislation and debates
  • Background to negotiations
  • Further reading

EU referendum: impact of an EU exit in key UK policy areas
This paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers how it might change if the UK left the EU. The paper covers the following areas:

  • Business and trade
  • Food and environment
  • Legal services
  • Social issues
  • International affairs
  • The devolved legislatures

EU budget 2014-20 - Commons Library briefing – includes statistics on UK's contributions and receipts to and from the EU budget


  • Scotland in the European Union (PDF) - Scottish Government publication on its position towards membership of the EU (2013)
  • The impact of EU membership in Scotland - SPICe briefing (PDF)
    The briefing sets out what EU membership means for Scotland and includes an analysis of the data relating to Scotland’s economic and social links with the EU. It covers topics such as trade, inward investment, migration, public finance, higher education, transport, energy, agriculture and fisheries and the environment. (30 October 2015)


  • Europe Matters (Welsh Assembly newsletter)
    A newsletter produced by the EU office and the National Assembly for Wales International Relations Team to inform those who have an interest in Wales and European matters on the scrutiny and policy development activities of the committees of the National Assembly of Wales where they relate to current European issues.

Northern Ireland

Image: iStockphoto

    Opinion polls

    From several organisations and includes:

    • latest situation
    • changes over time
    • individual polls

    UK campaign groups

    Author information

    Authors of the Library web pages and briefing papers are available to discuss them with MPs and their staff.

    In addition, briefing papers are published to the website.