The authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations

Politics and Society

Relationship with the EU

This fact was correct when it was updated on 22 Sep 2020

Was there a referendum in the UK to join the EU in 1973?

No, but the UK did hold a referendum on whether to remain a member of the European Community in 1975. The UK joined the European Economic Community in 1973 but the question of membership was not then put to a popular vote (instead it was decided in Parliament). The Labour Party won the General Election in 1974 after promising in its election manifesto that it would hold a referendum on whether the UK should continue to be a member (on renegotiated terms) or leave the EU entirely. The referendum was held on 5 June 1975. Just over 67% of those who voted cast their vote in support of continued membership, and the UK remained a part of European integration until it left in 2020.

More facts you may be interested in

What is an Autumn Statement? 

17 Nov 2022

What is fiscal drag?

10 Nov 2022

What is a three-line whip?

19 Oct 2022