UK Holds Second Referendum on Its EU Membership

World » EU | June 23, 2016, Thursday // 10:48
Bulgaria: UK Holds Second Referendum on Its EU Membership A British Union flag, commonly known as a Union Jack (R), flies next to a European Union (EU) flag, in London, Britain, 22 June 2016. Photo: EPA

The UK is holding on Thursday a referendum on whether the country should continue its membership to the EU or leave the Union.

The voting started at 7 a.m. and polling stations will remain open until 10 p.m. British time, the BBC informs.

An estimated 46 499 537 people are eligible to vote in the referendum, which is a record number for UK poll.

This is only the third country-wide referendum to be held in the history of the UK. The referendum was preceded by a four-month campaign of the opposing “Leave” and “Remain” camps.

The question on the ballot paper asks voters: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”. The two possible answers are “Remain a member of the EU” and “Leave the EU”.

The side which gets more than half of the votes cast is considered to have won.

After the polls close, the sealed ballot boxes will be collected and transported to the count venue for each of 382 local counting venues, which represent all 380 local government areas in England, Scotland and Wales, plus one each for Northern Ireland and Gibraltar.

The results from each area along with the outcome from the eleven regional counts will be declared throughout the night.

According to the Electoral Commission, the final result should be available “around breakfast” on Friday.

The latest opinion polls showed close levels of support for either of the two options featured on the ballot paper.

This is the second referendum on UK's EU membership since the country joined the Union in 1973.

The first one took place just two years after the country had become member of the then European Community (EC) and asked the question whether the country should stay in the EC.

Back then, more than two thirds of the voters (67.23 %) voted in favour of staying, while 32.77 % were against.

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Tags: UK, Referendum, EU, membership
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