£2.8 MILLION budget for EU referendum website with “factual information” and online “promotion” by UK Government

Cabinet Office minister John Penrose said the website and online promotion will be a “key means through which the public can access factual information on the referendum question”.

But he promised the government would comply fully with legal restrictions in place from 27 May ahead of the referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the EU or leave.

His comments, in a written parliamentary answer, come after a huge row over the UK government’s decision to send out a leaflet about the EU referendum to households in advance of the historic referendum.

Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin asked about government plans on providing “further public information on the EU referendum” via a written parliamentary question.

Mr Penrose replied that the government had published details of the cost of the public information leaflet on 6 April, but would not release a further breakdown of costs because it would “compromise the commercial confidentiality of Royal Mail and the relevant printers”.

“The Government has confirmed that a budget of £2.894,064m has been allocated for digital promotion and the operation of the EUreferendum.gov.uk website. This will be a key means through which the public can access factual information on the referendum question.”

He added: “It is important to ensure that the public continue to have access to factual information throughout the referendum campaign.

“The Government has been clear that it will comply fully with the statutory restrictions in place during the 28 day period from 27 May 2016. No new content will be added to the EUreferendum.gov.uk website during this period.”

Work on the leaflet and the website was done by Cabinet Office and No 10 staff, as part of on-going responsibilities, said the minister, although it was not possible to separate out the cost without incurring disproportionate cost.

 

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