Who has the power to call a referendum in the UK?


Union Jack, Saltire & Shetland flag. Julien Carnot

Who can call a referendum and is the result binding?

In the UK, only the Westminster Parliament has the power to authorise a referendum, which is why Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has to get the approval of Prime Minister Theresa May before a second referendum on Scottish independence can be held. In the British constitution, Parliament is sovereign so technically could ignore the result of a referendum but politically is very unlikely to do so.

What is the 1922 Committee and why is it called that?

What is the Conservative party's 1922 committee, and how did it get its name?

What are rules for Tory leadership contests?

How does the Conservative party leadership election work, and what is the role of the 1922 committee?

What is a vassal state?

Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg warn that the UK would become a 'vassal state' under the Brexit deal supported by Theresa May.

What did John McEnroe say about Serena Williams?

What did former tennis player John McEnroe say about Serena Williams?

Why is Salvador Dali being exhumed?

Why are they digging up artist Salvador Dali's body?

What happened with the BBC News at Ten going off air?

What made the BBC News at Ten crash?

Why is Ed Miliband doing a radio show?

Why is the former Labour leader sitting in for Jeremy Vine?

Why is Daniel Day-Lewis retiring?

Why is three-times Oscar winner actor Daniel Day-Lewis retiring?