1975 Referendum on the United Kingdom's
continued membership of the Common Market
It is nearly 25 years since the
U.K. electorate was last consulted on the U.K.'s
relationship with the European Union (as it is now). At last
we now stand to be consulted again: on membership of the
EU's Economic and Monetary Union, if and when the Government
In 1975 a referendum was held in the
United Kingdom, asking whether the electorate wished to
remain part of what was then the Common Market. It is a
common misconception that this referendum was on whether
Britain should join - this is not the case, as Britain was
already a member.
The referendum was a manifesto commitment
of the Labour party under the leadership of Harold Wilson.
The Labour party was elected to form Her Majesty's
Government and duly held the referendum.
The main purpose of this site is to host
an online version of the pamphlet distributed to every
household by the Government in support of the Government's
recommendation that people should vote in favour of staying
in. The aim is to provide proof of what the British people
were told about membership of the Common Market on the
occasion they were last consulted. It demonstrates just how
far the European Union has 'progressed' as a political
project since then.
Please use this link to see the
text. Scans of the original
document should be available soon.
The question that was actually asked
DO YOU THINK THE UNITED KINGDOM SHOULD STAY IN THE
EUROPEAN COMMUNITY (THE COMMON MARKET)?
The result was that 67.5 % of votes were
in favour of staying in.
The House of Commons had voted (9 April
1975) on staying in on the new terms:
396 in favour (70.0%), 170 against (30.0%).
Earlier polls had asked:
"If you could vote tomorrow on whether we should stay in
the Common Market or leave it, how would you vote?"
Average results: 33% stay, 41% leave, 26% don't
In Feb 1975 the question was altered
"If the Government negotiated new terms for Britain's
membership of the Common Market and thought it was in
Britain's interest to remain, how would you vote - to stay
or to leave?"
Results: 53% to stay, 22% to leave, 25% don't
The above information is apparently available in:
See my transcript of the the
"The 1975 Referendum" by David Butler and Uwe Kitzinger.
ISBN 0-333 662990-3