our previous post regarding the impossibility of a 2015 referendum, we contacted the Electoral Commission to try to clarify a number of further potential technical issues.
While, like most quangos, the Electoral Commission displayed a deep reluctance to commit themselves to answering certain questions posed, their first response confirmed our initial points that, contrary to Farage's assertion, a referendum cannot happen in a few weeks (quoted from the Electoral Commission's email):
Currently, we cannot say how the designation process will work at any future referendum until Parliament passes the legislation setting out the rules for that referendum.This reiterates precisely our point that it means campaigning groups can't begin to officially campaign until they submit bids for the official "in" and "out" campaign and have been approved. With Scotland a campaign period of 16 weeks was the recommendation.
Our role is to regulate the referendum and designate campaigners under the rules for each referendum. The rules that applied at previous referendums required the Commission to designate campaigners that sufficiently represented those campaigning for the outcome they support, or, if more than one, represented those campaigning to the greatest extent.
However the approval process is likely to take six months as also recommended by the Electoral Commission. This six month process cannot happen until after the referendum bill becomes law which in itself at best will take months.
Thus with the Electoral Commission's recommendations which considered the experience with Scotland (for recommendations, read demands) it becomes clear that a 2015 referendum is simply out of the question.