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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Evidence to Parliament

Published: 1 February 2010 Origin:  Politics and International Relations

On 6th January 2010, Professor Graham Smith braved the snow to give evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution on the potential role of referendums in the UK.

The Select Committee has decided to review the statutory provision on referendums set out in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, given the number of times political parties are likely to promise to hold referendums in the run-up to the general election later this year. Professor Smith was one of the witnesses on the first day of the Committee’s inquiry and offered insights into the different ways that direct legislation has been institutionalised in other countries. In comparison, the UK is highly conservative in its use of referendums.

A week later Professor Smith appeared on BBC Radio Wales breakfast programme to discuss the role of referendums. There is growing pressure in Wales for a referendum to increase the powers invested in the Welsh Assembly following devolution in the late 1990s.

More information about the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution can be found here:
http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-archive/lords-constitution-committee/

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