This Vote Is About Our Place in the World - Let Us Stand Tall With Europe

22/06/2016 16:32 | Updated 22 June 2016
Christopher Ames via Getty Images

young voter

It's the early hours on Friday 24th June, and the national result is about to be announced; millions of us, bleary eyed and news studios overwhelmed with the smell of caffeine wait with baited breath on what will be said. In those few words the fate of Britain will be sealed for generations to come, and it is at that moment we can proudly celebrate our nation as being connected and inclusive, by remaining inside the EU.

This referendum campaign has been one of lies, damned lies and statistics. Each and every day a new report by both sides has sought to spook and scare us to vote for their side. Statistics piled on top of old statistics, intertwined with complexities over the inner-working of political institutions has resulted in an electorate even more disillusioned and distrusting of political leaders than ever before.

But this referendum is bigger than what can be inserted into a ten second soundbite or placed on the front of a glossy leaflet. The result on Friday will send a clear message of how we see ourselves, a nation where we are a team player and stand with our closest countries, or one where we resort to becoming disconnected.

Nigel Farage has roused up thousands of crowds by promising them Friday will be our "independence day". However, his vision of independence will leave us more subservient to external forces when it comes to addressing some of the most pressing problems we face. Take climate change for example, through being in the EU, we can push forward our priorities and not just take action in a nation of 63 million but across a population of 500 million. Like so many global issues, the environment does not respect national borders and requires cooperation and joint action to find solutions.

The global vision being offered by the leave campaign is one where Britain becomes more hostile and less tolerant. Anti-immigrant language has been stoked to near crisis point during this referendum, with a daily drip-drip of near- xenophobic lines being pushed by many of the prominent faces of the Brexit camp. I want Britain not to be uncomfortable with a having diverse population, I want Britain to champion this and celebrate it, not merely for economic benefits but because it shows us to be one of the most inclusive and welcoming societies in the world.

Across the world we see a rise in the anti-politics movement, with Donald Trump in the US and Marine Le Pen in France, these people simply seek to divide and pit our communities against one another. But is it precisely because of their mission to instill fear and division that we must look to reject this ideology instead look to strengthen our relationships with our closest neighbours.

For young people, the EU means so much more than simply trade and economics, but it has become the place where we have the opportunities to share experiences, such as living, working or studying across 27 other nations. Our generation have arguably become the most outward facing and there's ever been - voting to severe these ties and become inward looking flies in the face of the values around cooperation and solidarity that so many of us hold dear.

While the script for Friday's national result declaration remains unwritten, let us hope that the words selected resemble the ones crafted by the 16th century poet John Donne who said this: "no man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent."

HuffPost UK Young Voices is running a month-long focus on the EU Referendum, examining what is at stake for Britain's young people on 23 June and why it's imperative you register to vote and have your say. If you want to have your say and blog on our platform around this topic, email Register to vote here.