The UK Government said earlier today it will hold a referendum on the nation’s membership of the EU on 23 June 2016.
This is the text of the announcement made by the Prime Minister, David Cameron:
“Last night in Brussels I set out Britain’s new settlement with the European Union.
This morning I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet in which I updated them on the special status we have secured for Britain.
And the Cabinet agreed that the government’s position will be to recommend that Britain remains in a reformed European Union.
Now I want to speak directly to the British people to explain why.
We are approaching one of the biggest decisions this country will face in our lifetimes.
Whether to remain in a reformed European Union – or to leave.
This choice goes to the heart of the kind of country we want to be. And the future that we want for our children.
This is about how we trade with neighbouring countries to create jobs, prosperity and financial security for our families.
And it is about how we co-operate to keep our people safe and our country strong. I know there will be many passionate arguments over the months ahead.
And individual Cabinet Ministers will have the freedom to campaign in a personal capacity as they wish.
But my responsibility as Prime Minister is to speak plainly about what I believe is right for our country. I do not love Brussels. I love Britain.
I am the first to say that there are still many ways in which Europe needs to improve – and that the task of reforming Europe does not end with yesterday’s agreement.
And I will never say that our country couldn’t survive outside Europe.
We are Great Britain – we can achieve great things.
That is not the question in this referendum.
The question is will we be safer, stronger and better off working together in a reformed Europe or out on our own. I believe we will be safer in a reformed Europe, because we can work with our European partners to fight cross border crime and terrorism.
I believe Britain will be stronger in a reformed Europe because we can play a leading role in one of the world’s largest organisations from within, helping to make the big decisions on trade and security that determine our future.
And I believe we will be better off in a reformed Europe because British businesses will have full access to the free trade single market, bringing jobs, investment and lower prices.
Let me be clear. Leaving Europe would threaten our economic and our national security.
Those who want to leave Europe cannot tell you if British businesses would be able to access Europe’s free trade single market or if working people’s jobs are safe or how much prices would rise.
All they are offering is risk at a time of uncertainty – a leap in the dark.
Our plan for Europe gives us the best of both worlds.
It underlines our special status through which families across Britain get all the benefits of being in the EU, including more jobs, lower prices and greater security.
But our special status also means we are out of the parts of Europe that don’t work for us.
So we will never join the Euro, we will never be part of Eurozone bailouts, never be part of the passport-free no borders area, or a European Army or an EU super-state.
Three years ago I committed to the British people that I would renegotiate our position in the European Union and hold an in-out referendum.
Now I am delivering that commitment.
You will decide.
And whatever your decision, I will do my best to deliver it.
On Monday I will commence the process set out under our Referendum Act.
And I will go to parliament and propose that the British people decide our future in Europe through an in-out referendum on Thursday 23rd June.
The choice is in your hands.
But my recommendation is clear.
I believe that Britain will be safer, stronger and better off in a reformed European Union.”
It strikes us that there will be many Edinburgh events already organised and which may clash with that date when you are asked to cast your vote on an in/out referendum, so here are some that we found.
Any others? Add them in the comments section below! Tell us what you will be up to.
Sunrise will be at 04.27 and the sun will set at 22.03, probably just after the polls close.
The Royal Highland Show at Ingliston opens on 23 June 2016 and runs till Sunday 26 June.
At the Bongo Club they will have their usual Thursday evening’s entertainment.
The 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival runs from 15-26 June 2016, making it the longest continuous running film festival in the world. The programme is yet to be announced but here is a flavour of what you could see last year.
This year the EIFF has announced that the focus will be on Finland. EIFF will show a programme of new Finnish feature films in collaboration with Finnish Film Foundation. These will be both fiction and documentaries.
EIFF Deputy Artistic Director, Diane Henderson said: “With its rich film heritage, Finland is a country that features often at EIFF and this year we’re very excited to present this appreciation of films from this fascinating country. We are delighted to be working with the Finnish Film Foundation and are looking forward to welcoming our special guests from Finland to Edinburgh in June.”
At the National Museum of Scotland you can see a major exhibition called Celts: Art and Identity. The entrance fee is £10. This is a special exhibition organised by National Museum of Scotland and the British Museum in London.
At the Scottish National Portrait Gallery they are staging a large exhibition showing the transformation of Scotland from an independent nation ruled by Catholic monarchs in the 16th century to becoming part of a union with Protestant England at the end of the 17th century.
At the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (Modern Two) they will just be bringing the Modern Scottish Women exhibition to an end. The exhibition includes work by women painters and sculptors. More information here.
On 23 June you will have a month to wait before Runrig appear at Edinburgh Castle on 23 July so you might still have time to get tickets for that or Simply Red or the Stereophonics at Edinburgh Castle earlier in July. Tickets here.
The MGA Academy will present their show TEN at the King’s Theatre from 23 June to 25 June 2016. Musical theatre with world-class artists from the MGA Academy of Performing Arts. Have a listen to this:
And at the Dovecot Gallery there will be an exhibition of the Scottish Endarkenment exploring dark topics from international conflict to gender identity. This will also be part of the Edinburgh Art Festival which runs from 28 July to 28 August 2016.
But as a forerunner to the Edinburgh Art Festival Turner Prize nominee Ciara Phillips has been challenged to ‘dazzle’ a ship in Leith as part of the EAF’s commissions programme. This will mark the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, and the artist will ‘dazzle’ the MV Fingal. She will put her own stamp on the way that battle ships were decorated about a hundred years ago. This will be the fourth in the Dazzle Ship series. Others were commissioned in Liverpool.
The MV Fingal is a former Northern Lighthouse tender which is now owned by the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust and will be a central element of the EAF 2016. It was Leith registered but worked out of Oban and then Stromness for three decades. The ship was sold to a private buyer in 2000 but sold to the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust in 2014. The event is supported by the Scottish Government and we understand there is a Dazzle it app!
Sorcha Carey, Director, Edinburgh Art Festival, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with 14-18 NOW, the Scottish Government and the Royal Yacht Britannia on the ‘Dazzle Ship’ project with Ciara Phillips, to bring such a significant project to Edinburgh. The project continues to build on the festival’s history of commissioning leading Scottish and international contemporary artists to develop ambitious new projects for the city. As the only major annual festival dedicated to the visual arts in Scotland and the UK, we are particularly excited to expand our programming beyond the festival dates and to extend the reach of the festival beyond the city centre to Leith.”
The project is also part of the 14018 NOW programme:
And since Edinburgh is Festival City we have listed all the festivals for you over here.