Press release

Government responds to public desire for EU facts

A leaflet will be sent to every household across the UK to help the public make an informed decision in the upcoming EU referendum.

Calendar with 23 June marked. Text reads: This is your chance to decide your own future and the future of the United Kingdom. It is important that you vote.
  • starting next week, every household in the country will receive a leaflet from the government setting out why it believes that remaining in the EU is the best decision for the UK
  • 85% of the public want the government to provide more information to help make an informed decision on 23 June

To help the public make an informed decision in the upcoming EU referendum, the government will send out a leaflet to every household across the UK from next week.

Independent polling carried out on behalf of the government showed that 85% of the public want more information from the government itself.

Environment Secretary, Liz Truss, said:

This referendum will be a huge decision for our country, perhaps the biggest we will make in our lifetimes and it is crucial that the public have clear and accessible information. Independent polling carried out on behalf of the government made clear that 85% of people want more information from the government to help make an informed decision.

The document makes clear why EU membership brings economic security, peace and stability. It also sets out that if the UK voted to leave, the resulting economic shock would put pressure on the value of the pound, which would risk higher prices of some household goods.

The leaflet sets out the facts, explains why the government believes a vote to remain in the EU is in the best interests of the UK, and shows some of the choices the country would face if it were to leave. It also encourages the public to register to vote by the 7 June and directs them to where they can do this.

From 6pm this evening, we will also launch a stand alone website which will feature the leaflet online and provide further information to the public. We will be advertising this on social media and other digital channels.

The total cost of producing, distributing and publicising the leaflet across the UK is £9.3 million – a cost of around 34p per household. Breakdown of these costs is as follows:

  • production – £458,500
  • print and delivery to over 27 million homes across the UK in 2 waves – £5,947,436
  • digital promotion and website – £2,894,064

In addition to the government leaflet, the 2 designated campaigns will have public funding made available to them from the Electoral Commission to produce their own leaflet to every voter or household. This is alongside the Electoral Commission’s own leaflet to every household, in which both campaigns will be given a page each.

This follows precedents where the government published leaflets ahead of the EU referendum in 1975, the referendums on the creation of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly in 1997, the creation of the mayoral system in London in 1998 and 2 UK government leaflets during the Scottish referendum in 2014.

Government publications of this sort, including the distribution of this leaflet, are entirely lawful; special rules limiting government publications will apply in the last 28 days of the referendum campaign.

The leaflet will be delivered to households in England from 11 to 13 April, ahead of their local election purdah and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland throughout the week commencing 9 May to avoid disrupting their pre-election period.

Read the leaflet and register to vote in the EU referendum by 7 June.

Published 6 April 2016