All you need to know about the European Union referendum
- Credit: PA
The European Union referendum is edging closer, Annabelle Dickson sets out what you need to know before polling day on June 23.
• When is it being held?
Thursday, June 23. Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm.
• What will I be asked?
The question is: 'Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?' You will be given the option to vote to remain or vote to leave.
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• Can I vote in the EU Referendum?
You can if you are registered and you are aged 18 or over on June 23.
You must be a British or Irish citizen living in the UK or a Commonwealth citizen living in the UK who has leave to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK. You can also vote if you are a British citizen living overseas 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.
• How do I vote?
Once you are registered to vote, there are three ways you can vote in the EU Referendum.
At your polling station in person.
You will receive a poll card telling you where your polling station is. You will also be able to check how to find out where your polling station location is in the 'Your local area' section closer to the date of the referendum.
• How will the votes be counted?
Your ballot paper will be sent to your district council to be counted. This will take place from 10pm and people will be counting through the night and into the early hours. The district result will be sent to Chelmsford to be tallied for the East of England. The East of England result will then be sent to Manchester where it will be added to the national tally and it is expected we will have a result by breakfast time.
• What will happen on June 24th if we vote to leave?
The legal pathway out of the current EU is through article 50, which was put into the 2009 Lisbon treaty. This allows a country two years to negotiate the terms of its exit from the moment it notifies the EU of its intention to leave. A Brexit vote does not represent that formal notification.
• What do our MPs thinks? All of Suffolk's MPs are backing a vote to remain. In Norfolk just North-West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham and South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon are backing a vote to leave. Stephen Barclay, the MP for North-East Cambridgeshire, is also backing a Brexit.
• What about our MEPs? Unsurprisingly the three UK Independence Party members are all backing a vote to leave. Labour MEP Richard Howitt is backing a vote to remain. The three Conservatives are divided. David Campbell-Bannerman, who temporarily defected to UKIP, is a senior member of Vote Leave. Vicky Ford wants to remain and Geoffrey Van Orden announced at the last minute that he was also backing the Prime Minister's position.
• Are there any other high profile people in our region who have shown their hand?
Norwich City football club majority shareholder Delia Smith is backing the Remain campaign, saying she wants to do everything in her power to encourage people to support the UK's membership within a group of nations who are 'learning how to coexist in a converging world'.