Thursday, 11 February 2010

Referendum Date

Attention now is clearly turning to the Referendum date and, indeed, the question.

Today David Williamson has been emailing Assembly Members for their views. I think it is the unanimous view of my Group that this Referendum should be in October. I suppose there is a window of opportunity in late February/early March, but scarcely ideal.

The difficulty for scrutineers and returning officers, the difficulty for campaigners and, above all, the difficulty for the public in the confusion of two overlapping campaigns seem to me to rule out a date of May 2011 or anything close to it.

It is to be hoped that now the ‘Trigger’ request is in Peter Hain’s in-tray, that it is dealt with expeditiously and that if a general election and change of government intervenes, that this is passed to Cheryl Gillan as incoming Secretary of State who is then able to dispatch it to afford the opportunity of that October date.

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