30/01/2017 08:55 GMT | Updated 31/01/2018 05:12 GMT

More Than 20 Youth Organisations From Across The UK Came Together At Parliament To Demand A Better Brexit For Young People



On the same day that the Supreme Court ruled an Act of Parliament is required to trigger Article 50, over 20 youth organisations from across the UK came together at Parliament - all united in working together to demand a better Brexit for young people.

Too often, the youth voice is marginalised in the decision-making processes. Just to set some context, less than 2% of our MPs are under the age of 30 and the average of a UK Councillor is 66. These are just some staggering statistics that highlight the lack of political representation for young people.

However, Brexit is too big of a deal to continue with this tradition and we must ensure that the next generation have a voice. We'll live with the outcome the longest and this a golden opportunity for our decision-makers to work together with the youth to help shape a future that can work for our next generation.

In response to the Supreme Court's decision, the ministers have produced a 'Brexit Bill' - the equivalent of just over 5 tweets at 134 words and 784 characters, which is alarmingly vague. With only 2 days for parliamentary debate and 3 for committee, this monumental decision for the future of the UK could go ahead, without consulting those that have to live with the longest - the youth.

That is why the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on a Better Brexit for Young People is so important: there needs to be research that informs policy recommendations and the right level of scrutiny on the Government to ensure that young people are considered in the Brexit negotiations.

The first roundtable led by the APPG Chair Stephen Kinnock MP took place last week Tuesday, and it was incredibly encouraging to have a wide range of youth organisations present - 23 to be exact - who were all united to demand a better Brexit for young people. With a collective voice, we are much more powerful and cannot be ignored.

The APPG was an initiative of My Life My Say (MLMS) a youth-led, party neutral movement on a mission to secure a better Brexit for young people and evolve relationships between young people and decision-makers.

Our APPG is the first of its kind and we have succeeded in securing the biggest names in youth organisations from all over the UK our roundtable. This shows the importance of coming together with one voice and united in our aim. We encourage any other interested parties to join forces with us to ensure a better Brexit for young people.

Organisations present included the British Council, British Youth Council, UK Youth Voices, Bite the Ballot, Undivided, Citizenship Foundation, Step up to Serve and many more. A key theme was the idea that it doesn't matter how you voted, what matters is that your voice is heard, and the roundtable also included groups from across the political spectrum, such as Brexit Central and Open Britain.

"I was incredibly heartened to see such a wide variety of groups in this room" commented Sam Mejias, who is heading up the APPG research by LSE. "This is an impressive array of organisations from across the UK and with this collective action we can really ensure that young people are central to the process" agreed Stephen Kinnock MP.

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