The Second Reading of the European Union (EU) Referendum Bill 2015 – 16, takes place in the House of Commons on Tuesday 9th June 2015 and can be viewed live here.
It has been reported that the SNP will mount a challenge during this Second Reading of the Bill, in demanding inclusion of a “second lock” majority decision threshold in all four home nations, as well as extension of the franchise to include 16 and 17 year olds.
There is also the question at this stage of whether any further debate on opening up the franchise will also extend to the Votes for Life Bill 2015 – 16 (see below), and the issue of British overseas voters resident in the EU but currently excluded from voting by the 15-year-rule.
How the main opposition Labour party, the Conservative party’s eurosceptic block and the Government will respond at this stage remains to be seen.
Pages 11 – 12 of the full report concerns the franchise – 4.2 Entitlement to vote in the referendum (Clause 2) – and specifically for overseas electors (British citizens living abroad) in the last paragraph:
“The government’s legislative agenda presented in the Queen’s Speech 27th March 2015 included a Votes for Life Bill 2015 – 16 that abolishes the restriction on voting in British parliamentary elections for British citizens living abroad for more than 15 years.”