The Cabinet Office wishes to report the entry into force today, Wednesday 23 March 2016, of the European Union Referendum (Counting Officers’ and Regional Counting Officers’ Charges) Regulations 2016.
The Regulations are the final piece of legislation which, taken together, confirm the arrangements for the referendum on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union.
The EU Referendum Act 2015 provides for a referendum to take place on the UK’s membership of the EU. The British people will be asked on 23 June, for the first time in 40 years, whether or not they want to stay in the EU.
This is a concrete step towards settling the debate about the UK’s membership of the EU.
The estimated cost of conducting the referendum is £142.4 million. This includes the expenses incurred by counting officers in running the poll, grants to the designated lead campaign organisations, the delivery by Royal Mail of campaign mailings from those organisations, and the cost of the central count.
These costs have been discussed and agreed with the Electoral Commission. It is important that counting officers and the Electoral Commission have the resources necessary to conduct the referendum effectively and efficiently.
The European Union Referendum (Counting Officers’ and Regional Counting Officers’ Charges) Regulations 2016 set the maximum recoverable amounts for the services and expenses of counting officers and regional counting officers.
The Regulations therefore provide counting officers with certainty regarding their allocations, enabling them to plan with confidence for delivery of the poll.