Skip main navigation

Towards the referendum: In words

Overview of the key documents and speeches leading up to and including the UK's EU renegotiation.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron standing a lectern at Chatham House giving a speech
© The University of Edinburgh CC BY SA 2016
The process leading up to the UK’s EU referendum began with David Cameron’s Bloomberg Speech and ended with his announcement of the referendum date.
These are some of the key documents and speeches in that process.

Bloomberg Speech

Script from GOV.UK | Video from Bloomberg
David Cameron gives a speech at Bloomberg’s London headquarters on 23 January 2013, in which he pledges to renegotiate the UK’s EU membership and hold a referendum if the Conservatives are elected in 2015.

Chatham House Speech

Transcript from Chatham House | Video from Chatham House
Several months after the 2015 General Election, David Cameron gives a speech at Chatham House in London on 10 November 2015, in which he set out his priorities for the renegotiation of the UK’s terms of EU membership.

Letter to the European Council

Letter from GOV.UK
At the same time as the speech, David Cameron sends a letter to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, laying out the same official objectives and formally beginning the renegotiation.

European Council February 2016 Conclusions

Conclusions from the European Council
At the February 2016 European Council meeting, the leaders of the 28 Member States (including the UK) finalise the UK’s EU renegotiation on 19 February. The agreement, made up of several statements and declarations, is attached to the council conclusions.

Referendum Announcement

Transcript and Video from GOV.UK
Following his return to London and after the UK Cabinet approves the renegotiation on 20 February 2016, David Cameron announces that the UK’s EU referendum will take place on 23 June 2016.
© The University of Edinburgh CC BY SA 2016
This article is from the free online

Towards Brexit? The UK's EU Referendum

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education