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The European Union (Referendum) Bill received its third reading in the House of Commons on 29 November 2013 and is due to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 10 January 2014. The Bill is a private member’s bill, introduced into the House of Commons by James Wharton (Conservative MP for Stockton South) and sponsored in the House of Lords by Lord Dobbs.

The Bill makes provision for an in/out referendum on the question of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union. It also stipulates that such a referendum must be held before 31 December 2017. This Library Note provides background information on the Bill, including a short summary of its key provisions and of the proceedings at second reading and committee stage in the House of Commons. It then examines the debate at report stage in the House of Commons in further detail, before providing a brief summary of the debate at third reading. The Note also contains two short appendices on usage of the Parliament Acts with regard to private members’ bills, and the recent House of Lords Constitution Committee report on the European Union (Referendum) Bill.

Documents to download

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