This petition was submitted during the 2017–2019 Conservative government
Petition To establish a Public Inquiry into the conduct of the 2016 EU Referendum.
There is now strong evidence of serious misconduct during the 2016 EU Referendum, including intereference by foreign actors and governments. This must be investigated under the Inquiries Act (2005).
This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months
Parliament debated this topic
This topic was debated on 5 October 2020
This response was given on 24 April 2019
There are no plans to establish a public inquiry on the conduct during the 2016 EU Referendum. The Government has not seen evidence of successful interference in UK democratic processes.
Read the response in full
The EU referendum was carried out in accordance with legislation passed by Parliament. The provisions relating to the conduct of the referendum were carefully scrutinised and ratified by Parliament. There was a six week period in which the result of the EU Referendum could be challenged by judicial review.
We treat the security and integrity of our democratic processes extremely seriously. The Government is committed to making sure the rules work, now and in the future.
It is not acceptable for any organisation to breach electoral procedures – and it is regrettable that fines have been levied on multiple groups on both sides of the referendum campaigns.
Pro-Remain groups outspent pro-Leave groups by £4 million in the referendum campaign.
The Electoral Commission is the independent regulatory body responsible for ensuring that elections and referendums are run effectively and in accordance with the law. If offences are alleged, it is right that they are investigated thoroughly by the appropriate agencies. Those agencies and any investigations are rightly independent of government.
Close to three quarters of the electorate took part in the 2016 referendum, trusting that the result would be respected. This Government wrote to every household prior to the referendum, promising that the outcome of the referendum would be implemented. 17.4 million people then voted to leave the European Union, providing the biggest democratic mandate for any course of action ever directed at the UK Government. Following the referendum, Parliament overwhelmingly confirmed the result by voting with clear and convincing majorities in both of its Houses for the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill.
The British people cast their votes once again in the 2017 General Election where over 80% of those who voted, voted for parties, who committed in their manifestos to upholding the result of the referendum. This Government stands by this commitment.
Other parliamentary business
Petitions Committee debates postponed
Following today’s announcement that business in Westminster Hall will not take place until further notice, all debates scheduled by the Petitions Committee on petitions that have more than 100,000 signatures have been postponed, including the debate on this petition which was scheduled for Monday 23 March.
Once Westminster Hall has reopened, the Petitions Committee will reschedule as many debates as possible.
You can read more about this here: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/326/petitions-committee/news/145653/petitions-committee-debates-postponed/
MPs to debate the UK's departure from the EU
On Monday 5 October, MPs will debate this petition along with two others relating to the UK's departure from the EU.
The debate is open to MPs from all parties to take part, and a Minister from the Cabinet Office will respond on behalf of the Government.
This debate takes place on the day Westminster Hall re-opens. Sittings in Westminster Hall, the House of Commons Second Chamber, have been suspended since March due to social distancing.
Watch from 6pm on Monday 5 October: https://youtu.be/H2rjMlwpcSQ
Follow the Committee on Twitter for updates: https://www.twitter.com/hocpetitions
Take part in the discussion using #BrexitPetitionsDebate
How do petitions debates work?
Petitions debates are general debates. They allow MPs to represent the concerns of their constituents and petitioners on an issue, question Government Ministers on their behalf, and press for action.
Petitions debates cannot change the law and do not end in a vote to implement the request of the petition.