What is the Citizens’ Assembly?
A. The Citizens’ Assembly is a group of people brought together, broadly representing the diversity of the population, to deliberate on a number of issues. In the past these have been on issues such as electoral reforms, constitutional amendments, and devolved powers.
The design of a Citizens' Assembly provides an opportunity for a cross-section of the public to hear from experts and campaigners and to engage in considered, thoughtful and reasoned discussion of the issues. The end goal of the Assembly is to make recommendations on the various options available.
The Citizens' Assembly on Brexit is tasked with deliberating on the type of Brexit the UK should pursue.
Who are the Members?
There are approximately 45 members of the Assembly. We are approaching potential members through a UK-wide representative survey, conducted by ICM, and then contacting by phone respondents who express an interest in joining the Assembly. The recruitment follows a stratification plan, with the aim of securing a group of people who are broadly representative of the UK electorate across characteristics such as whether they voted Leave or Remain, their gender, ethnicity, social class and the region of the UK in which they live.
How can I apply to be a member?
There is no option for a member of the public to directly apply to be a member of the Assembly as this would mean we were unable to determine if applicants were representative of the general public.
Will the Assembly be accessible for people with disabilities?
The Assembly has been designed to be broadly representative of the UK electorate and therefore the Assembly organisers will make every effort to ensure that the Assembly’s business is accessible as far as is practicable and appropriate to people with disabilities.
How will the meetings be run?
The Assembly’s meetings will take place across two weekends in September. They are designed to help all Assembly members participate fully and develop their ideas in light of expert evidence and the views of other members. Assembly members will hear from a diverse range of speakers with widely varying perspectives on Brexit. They will be able to ask the speakers questions and consider among themselves what they make of what the speakers have said. They will then develop conclusions, which will be written up in a report.
The format of the weekends will be outlined in more detail at a later stage.
Will members be paid for attendance?
Members will receive £200 per weekend as a token of thanks for taking part in the Assembly. Travel and accommodation costs for participants will also be covered, as well as meals during the course of the assembly.
Where will the Assembly be held?
The assembly will be held in Manchester.
Can I attend as an observer?
There will be very limited space for observers during Assembly meetings. Anyone wishing to do so should contact us through the website stating their reason for wishing to observe the Assembly. Observers will sit at the back of the room while the Assembly is meeting and will not be allowed to interact with Assembly members. These restrictions are important to preserve the integrity of the deliberative process.