Labour for a Referendum

Labour for a Referendum (LfR) was a political campaign by members of the Labour Party that sought a referendum in the United Kingdom on the European Union. The movement was set up following a pledge by the Conservative Party to hold an in–out vote if re-elected in 2015 United Kingdom general election. In the election campaign, Labour Party policy was that such a referendum would be an unnecessary distraction from government priorities. Following the Conservative victory in that election, the Labour Party committed to supporting passage of a Referendum Bill through Parliament   thus achieving the result sought by this campaign.

Labour for a Referendum
Formation13 May 2013
TypePolitical movement
PurposeThe holding of a referendum on Britain's continued membership of the European Union
Region served
United Kingdom
Key people
John Mills
Brendan Chilton
(Campaign Director)
WebsiteLabour for a Referendum

The campaign was chaired by JML chairman and Labour party donor John Mills, and directed by Dominic Moffitt, with party support from over 50 councillors, three council leaders and MPs including Kate Hoey, John McDonnell and Keith Vaz, the campaign aimed to move the policy of the Labour Party to one which supports a referendum on membership of the EU, with the intention that this might help to secure a victory in the 2015 general election.[1]

Former Northern Ireland spokesman Jim Dowd MP said: "I have been a supporter of this cause for many years and firmly believe the Labour Party must commit to a referendum before the European elections next year. As the Tories tear themselves apart over this issue, Labour for a Referendum provides the opportunity to unite the party on giving the people a say on our future in the EU."[1]

Notable supporters

After it launched in May 2013, it attracted support from a number of councillors, MPs and party activists.[2]

Status following the 2015 general election

Following the May 2015 United Kingdom general election, the Labour Party declared that it would support the parliamentary bill for the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, achieving the aim of the campaign. As of 13 June 2015, the status of the group was unclear and its web site appeared to be closed.


  1. "Labour divisions over EU emerge as MPs launch pro-referendum group". Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  2. "Labour Group Calls on Party Leadership to Back EU Referendum". Labour for a Referendum. Archived from the original on 13 May 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2013.