This report asks two questions about government preparations for these two referendums:
- Why did officials and ministers plan for a ‘no’ vote in 1975 and what were their main considerations?
- Why did the same rationales for preparing for withdrawal negotiations in 1975 not apply in 2016?
- Should a government that holds a referendum develop a strategy for implementing an outcome it does not support?
The views expressed in this research paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the UK in a Changing Europe initiative.