Referendum demands

AUSTRIA: The Freedom Party’s Norbert Hofer called for a referendum on EU membership in last December’s presidential election. Austria has a parliamentary election scheduled for 15 October.

CYPRUS: Actively considered proposals to unify the governments of the island could be subject to a referendum as in 2004. In that ballot 75 percent of Republic of Cyprus voters rejected the Annan plan for unification, while 65 percent of voters in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus endorsed it.

CZECH REPUBLIC. The President, Milos Zeman, called for a referendum on remaining membership in the EU and in NATO immediately after the Brexit vote. Since Zeman favoured both organisations, the call appeared to be an attempt to squash EU critics by showing popular endorsement of both institutions

FRANCE: Marine LePen demanded a referendum on membership in the EU and the eurozone before coming second in the May presidential election. The dema is not noticed at the moment but could be re-activated before the May, 2019 EP election.

IRELAND & NORTHERN IRELAND. Proposals for a referendum on joining the Republic of Ireland with Northern Ireland, currently part of the United Kingdom, have been made in the Irish Dail (Parliament) and by Republican leaders of the second largest party in Northern Ireland.

ITALY: Both the Five Star Party and the Northern League have endorsed referendums on EU issues but have moderated their demands as a parliamentary election approaches in the first half of 2018.

NETHERLANDS: The election manifesto programme of the anti-immigrant PVV party led by Gert Wilders called for a referendum on EU membership. However, it came a poor second in the March, 2017 election and is now in opposition.

POLAND. President Andrzej Duda has proposed a referendum on rejecting any EU ruling that it should accept a quota of refugees. Duda has suggested that a vote on this issue be held at the same time as a vote to elect Mps in a parliamentary election due no later than November, 2019.

SLOVAKIA: The anti-immigrant Our Slovakia party initiated a petition for a vote on EU membership in June, 2016 but it failed to secure sufficient signatures to force a vote.

SPAIN An independence referendum in Catalonia shows the possibility of the EU expanding membership through secession. The Catalan government is planning a referendum on 1 October; the Spanish government has held that this is illegal.

UK: The UK is scheduled to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019 as a consequence of a majority vote to do so on 23 June 2016. Some who want to remain are demanding a referendum on whether the UK should withdraw once the terms of leaving are determined by negotiations with the EU. A larger group are pressing for the UK Parliament to reject the terms of withdrawal, especially if public opinion polls show many leave voters have changed their minds. These demands assume that the EU would allow the withdrawal of the UK’s notification of withdrawal given by the terms of Article 50.

UK: SCOTLAND. The Scottish National Party is committed to holding a referendum on leaving the UK and, concurrently remaining in the European Union before its term of office expires in May, 2021, its loss of seats in the June, 2017 UK general election has made it suspend plans to introduce a in before Brexit happens for fear of defeat