The European Union Referendum (Conduct) Regulations 2016

Publication Date:January 01, 2016
 
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2016No. 219

REFERENDUMS

REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE

The European Union Referendum (Conduct) Regulations 2016

25thFebruary2016

Coming into force in accordance with regulation 1

These Regulations are made in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 4(1), (4) and (5), 5(1), 9(5) and 11(1) of the European Union Referendum Act 2015( 1).

In accordance with section 4(6) of the European Union Referendum Act 2015, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has consulted the Electoral Commission.

A draft of this instrument has been approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament pursuant to section 9(2) of that Act.

Accordingly, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster makes the following Regulations:

PART 1

INTRODUCTORY

Citation and commencement

1. These Regulations may be cited as the European Union Referendum (Conduct) Regulations 2016 and come into force on the day after the day on which they are made.

Extent

2.—(1) These Regulations extend to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(2) The following provisions extend also to Gibraltar—

(a) this Part,

(b) regulation 82,

(c) paragraphs 3 and 9 of Schedule 1 (extent and application and modification of section 52 of the 1983 Act) and regulation 79 (introduction of Schedule 1) to the extent that it introduces those paragraphs,

(d) Part 1 of Schedule 2 (application of provisions of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000) and regulation 80 (introduction of Schedule 2) to the extent that it introduces that Part, and

(e) paragraph 112 of Schedule 3 (right of audience and right to conduct litigation of Gibraltar persons in referendum proceedings), paragraphs 114 and 115 of that Schedule (persons convicted of corrupt or illegal practices: Gibraltar) and regulation 81 (introduction of Schedule 3) to the extent that it introduces those paragraphs.

Interpretation

3. In these Regulations ‘the 2015 Act’ means the European Union Referendum Act 2015.

PART 2

REGULATIONS FOR THE CONDUCT OF THE REFERENDUM IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Application and interpretation

Part to apply in United Kingdom and not Gibraltar

4. This Part applies in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (and not in Gibraltar).

Interpretation

5. In this Part( 2)

‘anonymous entry’, in relation to a register of electors, is to be read in accordance with section 9B of the 1983 Act( 3);

‘ballot paper account’ has the meaning given by regulation 44(6);

‘certificate as to employment on duty on the day of the poll’ has the meaning given by regulation 26(4);

‘companion’ has the meaning given by regulation 36(1);

‘the completed corresponding number lists’ has the meaning given by regulation 44(1)(e);

‘counting agent’ is to be read in accordance with regulation 23(10);

‘declaration made by the companion of a voter with disabilities’ has the meaning given by regulation 36(2)(c);

‘declaration of identity’ is to be read in accordance with regulation 17(1)(c);

‘elector’ means a person who is entitled to vote on his or her own behalf in the referendum;

‘list of proxies’—

(a) in relation to England and Wales and Scotland, means the list kept under regulation 63(3);

(b) in relation to Northern Ireland, means the list kept under regulation 74(3);

‘the list of voters with disabilities assisted by companions’ has the meaning given by regulation 36(8);

‘the list of votes marked by the presiding officer’ has the meaning given by regulation 35(4);

‘official mark’ has the meaning given by regulation 12(1);

‘parliamentary polling district’ means a polling district for parliamentary elections (see sections 18A and 18AA of the 1983 Act( 4));

‘parliamentary polling place’, in relation to a parliamentary polling district, means the polling place designated for that district in accordance with section 18B of the 1983 Act( 5);

‘peer’ means a peer who is a member of the House of Lords;

‘polling agent’ is to be read in accordance with regulation 23(10);

‘postal voters list’—

(a) in relation to England and Wales and Scotland, means the list kept under regulation 63(2);

(b) in relation to Northern Ireland, means the list kept under regulation 74(2);

‘postal voting statement’ is to be read in accordance with regulation 17(1)(b);

‘presiding officer’ is to be read in accordance with regulation 19(1) and (2);

‘proxy postal voters list’—

(a) in relation to England and Wales and Scotland, means the list kept under regulation 66(6);

(b) in relation to Northern Ireland, means the list kept under regulation 77(8);

‘referendum agent’ means a person appointed under paragraph 15 of Schedule 1 to the 2015 Act;

‘the relevant postal voting provisions’—

(a) in relation to England and Wales, means Part 5 of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001( 6) as applied by Part 1 of Schedule 3;

(b) in relation to Scotland, means Part 5 of the Representation of the People (Scotland) Regulations 2001( 7) as so applied;

(c) in relation to Northern Ireland, means Part 5 of the Representation of the People (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2008( 8) as applied by Part 2 of Schedule 3;

‘the relevant regulations’—

(a) in relation to England and Wales, means the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001( 9) as applied by Part 1 of Schedule 3;

(b) in relation to Scotland, means the Representation of the People (Scotland) Regulations 2001( 10) as so applied;

(c) in relation to Northern Ireland, means the Representation of the People (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2008( 11) as applied by Part 2 of Schedule 3; ‘a spoilt ballot paper’ has the meaning given by regulation 41(1)(a); ‘tendered ballot paper’ has the meaning given by regulation 37(1); ‘tendered postal ballot paper’ has the meaning given by regulation 39(2); ‘the tendered postal votes list’ has the meaning given by regulation 39(10);

‘tendered votes list’ has the meaning given by regulation 38(7); ‘voter’ means a person voting in the referendum and includes a person voting as proxy and ‘vote’ (whether noun or verb) is to be construed accordingly; and a reference to an elector voting or an elector's vote includes a reference to an elector voting by proxy or an elector's vote given by proxy.

Time

Timetable

6. The proceedings at the referendum are to be conducted in accordance with the following table.

Proceeding

Time

Publication of notice of referendum

Not later than the 25th day before the day of the referendum

Notice of poll

Not later than the 15th day before the day of the referendum

Hours of polling

Between 7am and 10pm on the day of the referendum

Computation of time

7.—(1) In calculating any period of time (other than a year) for the purposes of this Part, the following are to be disregarded—

(a) Saturdays and Sundays,

(b) Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday and any other day that is a bank holiday under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971( 12) in any part of the United Kingdom,

(c) any day that is a bank holiday or public holiday in Gibraltar under the Gibraltar Acts titled the Banking and Financial Dealings Act( 13) and the Interpretation and General Clauses Act( 14), and

(d) any day appointed in any part of the United Kingdom or Gibraltar as a day of public thanksgiving or mourning.

(2) In relation to proceedings adjourned by a presiding officer under regulation 43 (riot or open violence)—

(a) the reference in paragraph (1)(b) to a day that is a bank holiday in any part of the United Kingdom is to be read as a reference to a day that is a bank holiday in the part of the United Kingdom where the proceedings are adjourned (‘the relevant part of the United Kingdom’),

(b) paragraph (1)(c) is to be treated as omitted, and

(c) the reference in paragraph (1)(d) to a day that is appointed as a day of public thanksgiving or mourning in any part of the United Kingdom or Gibraltar is to be read as a reference to a day that is appointed as a day of public thanksgiving or mourning in the relevant part of the United Kingdom.

General provisions

Notice of referendum

8. Each counting officer must give public notice of the referendum stating—

(a) the date of the poll;

(b) the date by which—

(i) applications to vote by post or by proxy, and

(ii) other applications and notices about postal or proxy voting,

must reach the registration officer in order that they may be effective for the referendum.

Poll to be taken by ballot

9. The votes at the poll are to be given by ballot.

The ballot paper

10.—(1) The ballot of every voter is to consist of a ballot paper, which is to be printed in the form set out in Form 1 in Schedule 4 according to the directions specified in that Schedule.

(2) Each ballot paper—

(a) must set out the question and the alternative answers to that question as specified in section 1 of the 2015 Act;

(b) must be capable of being folded up; and

(c) must have a number and other unique identifying mark printed on the back.

Corresponding number list

11.—(1) The counting officer must prepare a list containing the numbers and other unique identifying marks of all of the ballot papers to be—

(a) issued by the officer in pursuance of regulation 17(1), or

(b) provided by the officer in pursuance of regulation 22(1).

(2) The list must be in the form set out in Form 2 in Schedule 4.

The official mark

12.—(1) Every ballot paper must contain an appropriate security marking (referred to in these Regulations as the ‘official mark’).

(2) The official mark must be kept secret.

(3) The counting officer may use a different official mark for different purposes.

Prohibition of disclosure of vote

13. A person who has voted in the referendum may not be required, in any legal proceeding to question the referendum, to state for which answer he or she voted.

Use of schools and public rooms

14.—(1) The counting officer may use, free of charge, for the purpose of taking the poll—

(a) a room in a school within paragraph (3);

(b) a room the expense of maintaining which is met by any local authority (in England and Wales or Scotland) or is...

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