By Daniel Hunter

The government has introduced the EU referendum bill to Parliament, including the question voters will be asked.

Voters will be asked: ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union?’

British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens over 18 who are resident in the UK will be eligible to vote as well as UK nationals resident overseas for less than 15 years.

The franchise for the referendum will be based on the General Election franchise, plus members of the House of Lords and Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar.

This means that Irish, Maltese and Cypriots resident in the UK will get a vote, but other EU citizens won’t.

In line with the Prime Minister’s commitment, the Bill also confirms that the referendum will be held by 31 December 2017.

The Bill is being introduced 40 years after the last referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.