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A general election can be called with a Months notice but you would have to allow at least another month for a new government to be formed (assuming there is a relatively clear outcome), ministers to be appointed, and a new policy to be formally communicated to Brussels.

A referendum requires enabling legislation so probably couldn't happen until autumn assuming they can agree on what question should be asked.

So you are talking anything from 2 to 6 months minimum. That would require the UK to participate in the EP elections as it would still be a member in May.

Some observers seem to think that is a legal technicality which can be avoided or overcome, but AFAIK it is a Treaty obligation for members and so can't just be changed even by legislation in the EP.

Personally I don't see what the problem is. Local elections are due in some areas in May anyway, and the EP elections could be a useful dry run for parties aiming to campaign in the referendum.

If Remain supporting parties do better than Leave supporting parties they will get a useful boost, and the whole exercise will help to undermine the Brexiteer "EU is undemocratic" mantra.

As usual turnout will be vital and Remain supporters might well be more motivated to turn out for an EP election.

So if I was the EU I would be insisting on at least 3 months and with the UK committing to participate in the EP elections.  No real change can come in less time.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 01:13:55 AM EST
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