THE BLOG

A Better Brexit For Young People

06/01/2017 13:03 GMT | Updated 06/01/2017 13:04 GMT
David M. Benett via Getty Images

As the triggering of Article 50 fast approaches, it is incredibly important that we figure out what 'Brexit' actually means, and how this will affect us. Young people especially will live with the outcome of Brexit by far the longest, and it is for that reason that I believe that we deserve a voice in the forthcoming negotiations.

The political class seems to be in disarray and there is no clear indication about what type of Brexit we want: soft or hard. Away from the chambers that govern our day-to-day lives, our communities are even more divided than ever before. A recent Sky Data poll suggests that 74% of the public believe that our country is more divided than it was a year ago, with just 7% saying it is more united.

I grew up in Hackney, which has successfully harnessed many people of different culture, faith, ethnicity and gender. I don't want the next generation of young people to grow up in a divided country, in which they had no say on how the future was shaped.

I have first hand witnessed this through the difference of conversations I have had with young people pre and post the EU referendum result. Many young people fear that their voices will be marginalised during the negotiations, and as a result have no say in how their future is shaped.

That is why I decided that I must get involved in this process to speak out for my generation to be involved on Brexit and remind our politicians that we will live with the outcome the longest - and that we deserve a say regardless of whether we voted to remain or leave.

The outcome of the EU referendum provides us with an opportunity to capture the mobilisation of young people during the campaign, with an unprecedentedly high turnout among the younger generations. We need to ensure that the youth are not overlooked and that their views are not dismissed just because the voter turnout was lower than that of the older generations. While 71% of under-30s were certain they would vote on 23 June, this compares with 75% of 31-50 year olds, 81% of 51-60 year olds and 84% of the over-65s. The under-30s were, despite the increase in their political engagement, under-represented in the final result compared with the older generation.

It is absolutely vital that we have a say in what a better Brexit would look like for our generation irrespective of how we voted in the referendum campaign. That's why I have teamed up with My Life My Say (MLMS) to lead on their campaign: A better Brexit for young people.

A group of us from around the country and across the political spectrum want to work together with young people from both sides of the campaign to form a united front, in order to secure a better Brexit for young people. We have formed coalition with some of the most leading youth organisations in the UK to ensure that our voices are not left behind and we'll be working with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Better Brexit for Young People to involve young people in the Brexit negotiations and submit their demands to the Parliament.

The EU referendum released a poison of division within our communities and we must make sure that the most marginalised groups in our society are not forgotten during the negotiation process. My message is clear: Let's unite whether you voted leave or remain to secure the best possible future for our generation. It's your life and your future, make sure you have your say in what tomorrow looks like.