Referendums in the United Kingdom are by tradition extremely rare due to the principle of parliamentary sovereignty. As of 2017, only three referendums have been held which have covered the whole of the United Kingdom: in 1975, 2011 and most recently in 2016.
Two of these referendums were held on the issue of the United Kingdom's relationship with Europe with the first held on the issue of continued membership of what was known at the time as the European Communities (EC), which was the collective term for the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC), and was also referred to by many back then as the 'Common Market'. This was the 1975 European Communities membership referendum which was held two and a half years after the United Kingdom became a member on 1 January 1973 and was the first national referendum to be held within the United Kingdom. - Posted on : 13-July-2017