EU Referendum

24 Jan 2017

Taking back control: Why voters need a say on Brexit plans

This article was first published on Politics.co.uk Last week we got a clearer idea of Theresa May's approach to leaving the EU. She set out a 12-point plan which included leaving the single market, remaining partially in the customs union, and withdrawing from the European Court of Justice. It was a good speech. But where are the public on all this? June 23rd was not a total binary of winners and […]
18 Jan 2017

The public need a say on where power will lie after Brexit

So Theresa May has fleshed out her plans for Britain leaving the EU and becoming an independent self-governing nation. With more detail emerging about the economic plan, it’s time to look at the democratic implications. Serious thinking about democracy can all too often get left behind and the public shut out of these debates, as we’ve seen with English devolution. How our democracy actually […]
7 Nov 2016

1,000 new Peers? No thanks

“If the Lords was obstructive we would just have to create 1,000 peers.” So said Jacob Rees-Mogg MP on Thursday , following the High Court’s ruling that MPs will have a vote on the triggering of Article 50 – the process for withdrawing from the EU. It’s a terrifying thought. But it’s an attitude that we’ve heard too often over the years – that is, If the House of Lords does too much scrutiny, the […]
24 Oct 2016

It's time to 'take back control' of money in politics

The following is a guest post from Steve Goodrich, Senior Research Officer at Transparency International UK. The views, opinions and positions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Electoral Reform Society. Although Brexit has divided opinion across the country there’s one thing that everyone’s united on: it’s a massive deal. Some see it as a great […]
20 Sep 2016

5 simple ways to improve how we do democracy

It seems like the distant past now, but in the few weeks up to the registration deadline for the EU referendum, more than 1.35 million people applied to register. On the day of the deadline, 525,000 people applied to register to vote. And then, when the website crashed around midnight and the government extended the deadline to register, 400,000 applied to vote. All big numbers. The thing is, a […]
1 Sep 2016

Doing referendums differently

There’s no denying it: referendums have become a central feature of our politics. So it’s about time we started thinking seriously about how we should run them. Since 2011 we have had two UK-wide referendums (on voting reform and membership of the European Union), a Scottish independence referendum, and a Welsh referendum on devolution of powers. The UK is in an extended period of constitutional […]
5 Jul 2016

5 things this EU vote has taught us about referendums

Whichever way you feel about the result, most people are glad the EU referendum campaign is over. To put it diplomatically, it wasn’t the highest quality debate in the world. Particularly for those on the losing side, referendums can seem like the worst way to do democracy – an instrument that leaves as many dissatisfied as satisfied with the result. But referendums aren’t good or bad in […]
1 Jul 2016

Brexit and our broken electoral system

This is a guest blog, originally published by Noel Longhurst . The opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Electoral Reform Society. Ever since the result of the EU referendum became clear early last Friday morning, those on the side of Remain have sought to point the finger of blame. Depending on your particular perspective, Leave voters, David […]
30 Jun 2016

We can do referendums better in the UK. Here's how.

This article was first published by Times Red Box Last week’s referendum raised some serious questions about the nature of the democracy we have – and the type we want to create. Unlike other countries, in the UK we do referendums on an ad hoc basis, often to resolve (or try to resolve) internal party rifts. Nowhere was that more clearly seen than with the EU vote. But given the current post- […]
24 Jun 2016

The referendum can't be the end of the road for public engagement

Referendums are the ultimate public poll – giving all registered voters a direct say over a major decision of national importance. And yesterday 33 million voters took part in the EU referendum, the highest turnout in any UK-wide election since 1992 at 72%. This was a monumental decision that will have ramifications for decades to come. Referendums can be advisory, but in all recent UK examples […]