Monday 19th December 2016
As 2016 comes to an end, the shockwaves of Britain’s vote to leave the EU are still reverberating.
The country’s Supreme Court is debating how the government can even begin the process, amongst a backdrop of daily warnings and discussion about the economic future.
The role of young people was much debated at the time of the referendum.
Plans to allow 16 and 17 year olds a vote were halted, while there was a massive drive to increase the amount of 18-24 year olds going to the ballot box.
This seems to have worked a little bit. Double the amount of 18-24 year olds voted in the referendum than the general election of 2015.
About 6 out of 10 18-24 year olds went to polls in the June….
…But many more over-65s voted too: over 90%.
It seems very unfair that at 90 year old has more of a say on the future of the UK than a 16/17 year old!
Allowing 16/17-year-olds a vote could have allowed up to 1.6million extra people to have their voice heard.
Now the vote is over and 16/17 year olds are no closer to getting a vote: are the views of young people being considered in the ongoing Brexit debate?
Trust in politicians is at an all time low. But how will that trust be improved if even the basic rights aren’t given to 16 and 17 year olds?
16 year olds can work full time, pay tax, get married, change name or join the army, so why not vote?
Instead of feeling dejected, I hope this situation leads many young people to become more determined to have their say.