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General elections in Britain are governed by the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 which allows for a snap general election if voted for by 2/3s of all MPs or if a government loses a vote of confidence and no new government can win a vote of confidence within 14 days.

I can't find any requirement for a minimum or maximum notice period, but on 18 April 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May announced her intention to call a snap general election for 8 June 2017 - a period of c. 7 weeks.

Referendums require distinct legislation to be passed on each occasion, so it takes however long that takes. The legislation for the June 2016 Brexit referendum was introduced into the HOC on 28 May 2015 - over a year beforehand.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 09:46:26 PM EST
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