Jeremy Corbyn's plan to hold two referendums will take up the whole of 2020 and will cost over £150m

New analysis has revealed that Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to hold two referendums in 2020 will take until September 2020 at the very earliest, and that the cost will total over £150 million. 

  • It will take, at an absolute minimum, nine months to hold both referendums (assuming that they are held in 2020, as Nicola Sturgeon is demanding). In reality, the process will likely take several more months on top of this.
  • The total cost will be £155 million. That is £138 million for the second EU referendum and £17 million for the second Scottish independence referendum. 
  • This is a generous assumption, as it doesn’t take into account the fact that Labour is likely going to try and extend the vote to 16 year olds and EU nationals. Enfranchising 16 year olds within nine months will likely be an extremely expensive task, and could either cost up to £500 million (the same as the EU settlement scheme) or result in an additional delay of at least six more months to pass legislation and then to allow the Electoral Commission time to register 16 year olds. 

Commenting, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“A majority Conservative government would get Brexit done and focus on the people’s priorities - such as increasing funding in our NHS and reducing the cost of living. 

“The alternative is Jeremy Corbyn, a man who can’t even make up his mind on Brexit, submitting to a pact with Nicola Sturgeon, and we already know what terms she will demand -  another divisive referendum on Scottish independence alongside a second vote on Brexit.

“The financial cost of this to taxpayers up and down the country will be in excess of £150m. But the real cost will be much, much higher: the chaos of two referendums in 2020 grinding the country to a halt and the world’s greatest political union reduced to the status of a bargaining chip.”