EU referendum: All you need to know

The UK will go to vote on Thursday about whether or not we should stay in the European Union.

It brings to end months of campaigning and will change the future of Britain for generations.

We’ve pulled the essential information together to give you helping hand and try to answer a few pertinent questions before tomorrow’s vote.

Why are we having an EU referendum?

Prime Minister David Cameron promised the EU referendum back in 2009, months before the general election that saw him elected as PM.

He promised the referendum was only if there was substantial transfer of powers from Westminster to Brussels.

Back in 2013, the PM promised to renegotiate Britain’s membership with the EU and then hold an in-out referendum.

What is the European Union?

It comprises 28 different countries and has a population of around 500m people.

It was originally set up in 1958 with six members (Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg) and they wanted to keep the peace of the Second World War and help improve economic links by removing barriers to trade between the countries.

The EU now includes the 19 Eurozone countries who share the single Euro currency, which was brought in through coins and banknotes in 2002.

Britain wants assurances that countries outside the Eurozone will not be treated as second-class members.

How does the EU work?

The Council of Europe has 28 leaders from the member states and oversees the European Union.

The leaders set the direction of the EU and decide major issues, but do not pass laws.

The engine of the EU is the Commission.

This is made up of 28 commissioners, one from each country, and the president (Jean-Claude Juncker), who is elected by MEPs.

Commissioners oversee the running of the EU, set budgets and tables legislation for adoption by the European Parliament.

The European Parliament is made up of 751 MEPs who voted on legislation, elect the president and approve the budgets.


What question will I be asked in the polling booth?

The question will be:

“Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

What are the benefits of staying in or leaving the EU?

Find both sides’ points in our handy guide here.

What will our MPs do?


Eric Pickles (Brentwood and Ongar)

Simon Burns (Chelmsford)

Sir Alan Haselhurst (Saffron Walden)

Rob Halfon (Harlow)

Jackie Doyle-Price MP (Thurrock)


James Cleverly (Braintree)

John Baron (Basildon and Billericay)

Rebecca Harris (Castle Point)

Douglas Carswell (Clacton)

Priti Patel (Witham)

Andrew Rosindell (Romford)

Bernard Jenkin (North Essex)

James Duddridge (Rochford)

Mark Francois (Rayleigh/Wickford)

Stephen Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock)

Will Quince (Colchester)

Sir David Amess (Southend West)


Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest)

Where do I vote?

Find our list of polling stations for Chelmsford, Braintree and Maldon here.

They will open from 7am until 10pm.

Then, the votes will be counted and announced at one of 12 regional centres in the country. For us, that’s in the Riverside Centre in Chelmsford.


What time are the counts estimated to be announced?

It’s done by local authority area and times will undoubtedly vary slightly, but the electoral commission has released the following times as a guide:

Basildon: 2am

Braintree: 4.30am

Brentwood: 4am

Castle Point: 2.30 am

Chelmsford: 3am

Harlow: 2.30am

Maldon: 6am

Southend: 3am

Tendring: 4am

Thurrock: 3am – 4am


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By Sydney Chesterfield on June 22, 2016 · Posted in Reports, Trends

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