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Cameron Should Leave the Remain Campaign If He Wants the Young to Vote to Stay

12/10/2015 09:53 BST | Updated 11/10/2016 10:12 BST

As attention turns to the referendum on whether the UK should leave or remain in the EU, the 'in' camp has decided who will help target their campaign at young voters. June Sarpong will attempt to get the message across to young people that the EU isn't so bad. But as the campaign picks up speed, she should be warned that having the Prime Minister on side will ultimately be a disadvantage when it comes to certain issues for the young.

Consider the internet. The freedom of the internet is a prime area of interest for the young and as such we want to see it protected. But with growing rhetoric from the Conservatives about passing legislation that will censor many parts of it, any trust that the young have in the Tories will fade. This suggests that any attempt by Sarpong to assure young people that the EU benefits the internet will have to involve some hint that it won't be safe if it's just left to Cameron. Which will make things tense as he's likely to be standing next to her as she says it.

The government's penchant for privatisation raises concerns about 'net neutrality', which is a priority for future generations. With a party in power that is so focused on being perceived as 'pro-business', there runs the real risk that in the absence of the EU, they would be able to pass laws that enable access to the internet to be tiered, effectively pricing people out of being able to use it.

There further fuels the difficult situation. If Sarpong is to convincingly tell young voters that we should remain in the EU because of the benefits it brings to the internet's protection, it would have to involve admitting that it isn't safe when left alone with the government. In this respect, one of the best points for the campaign is going to be muzzled because of Cameron's role.

As Cameron is fearful of the internet, he wants to censor and control it. Something that the EU is not willing to let happen, as they have made the commitment to an open and neutral internet with the BEREC (Body of European Regulator for Electronic Communications). As the future of the internet is a top concern for many young people, it is in our interest to remain in the EU for the safeguards they offer against the Tory's creeping control of it. But since Cameron wants to remain in the EU for different reasons, it means Sarpong and others are not going to be able to emphasise this.

There are plenty of good reasons why the UK should stay in the EU and many more in a reformed one. But one of the best ways to get this across to young people is to put it in a way that we will understand, and in way that affects us. The internet is one of those ways. But so long as Cameron is present in the campaign, Sarpong should watch out. It is going to be extremely difficult to get this benefit across when someone like the PM is standing beside you. He will not be wanting his newfound 'progressive' mask to slip any time soon.