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New Clause 3 — Restriction on Publications etc

Part of European Union Referendum Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:00 pm on 16th June 2015.

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(1) This section applies to any material, which—

(a) provides general information about the referendum,

(b) deals with any of the issues raised by the referendum question,

(c) puts any arguments for or against any outcome, or

(d) is designed to encourage voting at the referendum.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), no material to which this section applies is to be published during the relevant period by or on behalf of—

(a) the UK government,

(b) the House of Commons or House of Lords,

(c) the devolved administrations,

(d) any local authority,

(e) public bodies, or

(f) the European Commission and European Parliament.

(3) Sub-paragraph (2) does not apply to—

(a) existing material made available to persons in response to specific requests for information or to persons specifically seeking access to it, or

(b) anything done by or on behalf of—

(i) a designated organisation,

(ii) the Electoral Commission, or

(c) the Chief Counting Officer or any other counting officer, or

(d) the publication of information relating to the holding of the poll.

(4) In this paragraph—

“publish” means make available to the public at large, or any section of the public, in whatever form and by whatever means (and “publication” is to be construed accordingly),

“the relevant period” means the period of 28 days ending with the date of the referendum.

(a) A breach of the rules set out in this section, will be an offence.

(b) A person guilty of an offence under this section, is liable—

(i) on conviction on indictment, to a fine;

(ii) on summary conviction in England and Wales, to a fine;

(iii) on summary conviction in Scotland or Northern Ireland, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum;

(iv) on summary conviction in Gibraltar, to a fine note exceeding level 5 on the Gibraltar standard scale.—(Alex Salmond.)

The New Clause prescribes a period of “purdah” in the four weeks before the referendum

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Brought up, and read the First time.

Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The Committee divided:

Ayes 75, Noes 313.