By extending the vote to this often left-behind age group, we let them know that their voices matter, that they can and do have a role in sowing the seeds of political change. Coupled with a strong curriculum of citizenship lessons in schools, votes for 16- and 17-year-olds has the potential to instil in them a lifetime of political engagement and participation.
On Monday 9 November EU Trade and Business ministers met in Brussels to discuss a common European response to the crisis hitting the steel sector. This 'Steel Summit' took place exactly four weeks after it was announced that steel production in Redcar would end, leaving 2,200 jobless across Teesside.
Across Europe, Eurosceptic student groups are gradually coming together. They see the need for less government, not more. They realise the EU has been a cause of their troubles - or at least a symptom of the cause - which has done next to nothing to cure their problems. Just like many countries on the continent, Britain's youth is finally realising, the only way to truly solve this crisis is to Get Britain Out of the EU.
David Cameron needs to convince his backbenchers that he has reformed the Union. Research by the think tank Open Europe has suggested that 203 of the 330 Conservative MPs can be characterised as 'swing voters.' That is to say, they are either not particularly interested in the EU or who are waiting until the results of the renegotiation before making up their minds on the referendum.
I am proud of what Peter and myself did yesterday. The referendum is the most important political decision of a generation. The debate shouldn't be dominated by what it means for big businesses. It should be about what it means for the people of the UK, and how we make this country better. I will keep on making my voice heard, and I would encourage you to do the same.
Just as the Scottish result changed the face of British politics, so too will the vote in 2017. As we sail towards a particularly turbulent year, party heavyweights on all sides of the House will want to batten down the hatches and hold tight. Ukip have the most to lose, but for their leader, who has spent his life campaigning for withdrawal, I doubt the survival of the party is even his top priority right now.
There are hopes that all of this could soon change, and a new, impassioned and effective pro-European Conservative grouping will emerge. I really hope so. None of us who believe in the UK continuing to be part of the European Union can afford to be complacent. We are in a fight. And all of us, whether Conservatives, the business community or simply voters, have to stir ourselves. There is a lot to do, a lot to lose, and a whole lot to gain.