UK Membership of EU: Referendums

Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission written question – answered on 5th November 2015.

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Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what plans are in place for monitoring the EU referendum.

Photo of Gary Streeter Gary Streeter Conservative, South West Devon

In addition to its roles overseeing delivery of the referendum, supporting the work of Electoral Registration Officers in registering voters and helping the police and electoral administrators tackle allegations of electoral fraud, one of the Electoral Commission’s key objectives is to ensure the integrity and transparency for voters of campaign funding and spending at the EU referendum. Its role will be to register campaigners and regulate their funding and spending.

To ensure all campaigners know what the rules are, the Commission will actively engage with potential campaigners, publish guidance and provide an advice line. It will receive, analyse and publish information about the campaign funding and spending; ensuring this information is provided by campaigners on time and in line with the legal requirements. The Commission will also deal with potential breaches of the rules, including by the use of its enforcement and sanctioning powers where appropriate.

As part of its approach, the Commission will monitor campaigning. Using various sources, including the media and information brought to the Commission by campaigners and others, it will identify emerging issues and opportunities to offer advice and guidance to those it regulates or, if necessary, take enforcement action where the rules are not followed. The Commission will also refer to the information obtained through campaign monitoring when looking at financial information submitted by campaigners.

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