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Amendment proposed: 53, page 19, line 23, leave out paragraph 26 and insert—
“26 (1) Section 125 of the 2000 Act (restriction on publication etc of promotional material by central and local government etc) has effect for the purposes of the referendum with the following
modifications (which clarify the effect of certain provisions of that section and apply it to public bodies in Gibraltar).
(2) Subsection (1) has effect for the purposes of the referendum as if for paragraphs (a) to (d) there were substituted—
“(a) provides general information about the referendum,
(b) directly addresses the question of whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union (however that question is worded in the material),
(c) contains any statement or claim that—
(i) a particular outcome in the referendum, or
(ii) the United Kingdom’s remaining a member of the European Union or leaving the European Union,
would have particular consequences or might have such consequences, or
(d) is designed to encourage voting in the referendum.”
(3) Subsection (2) has effect for those purposes as if after paragraph (a) there were inserted—
“(aa) the Government of Gibraltar or any Gibraltar government department; or”.
(4) Subsection (3) has effect for those purposes as if—
(a) for paragraph (b) there were substituted—
“(b) anything done by or on behalf of the Electoral Commission or a permitted participant designated under section 108 (designation of permitted participants to whom assistance is available);”, and
(b) after “Sianel Pedwar Cymru” there were inserted “or the Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation”.
(5) Subsection (4) has effect for those purposes as if after paragraph (a) there were inserted—
“(aa) “the referendum” means the referendum under section1 of the European Union Referendum Act 2015;”.
(6) For the purposes of the referendum the following subsection is to be treated as inserted after subsection (4)—
(5) A reference in this section to expenses being defrayed wholly or mainly out of public funds includes those expenses being defrayed wholly or mainly by means of—
(a) payments out of—
(i) the Gibraltar consolidated fund; or
(ii) monies voted by the Gibraltar Parliament; or
(b) payments by the Government of Gibraltar or any Gibraltar government department.””— (Mr Lidington.)
This amendment applies section 125 of the 2000 Act with modifications which: clarify that the prohibition relates to material which is directly relevant to the referendum; apply section 125 to Gibraltar; and add an express reference to the Electoral Commission as a body to which the section does not apply.
The House divided:
Ayes 285, Noes 312.
Question accordingly negatived.
Amendment made: 4, page 19, line 23, leave out paragraph 26.—(Mr McFadden.)
The purpose of the amendment is to apply the “purdah” arrangements that govern ministerial and official announcements, visits and publicity during general elections to the campaign period before the referendum. The amendment should be read in conjunction with New Clause 5 (Restriction on publication etc of promotional material by central and local government etc) and New Clause 6 (Exemptions to prohibition on publication of promotional material by central and local government etc (No.2)).