Young people like me could play a vital role in safeguarding our own futures by keeping Britain in the EU, but we need to act now.
The government’s own forecasts state that any form of Brexit will make the UK poorer, reduce people’s rights and opportunities, and result in political turmoil – if you can believe it could get any worse. Indeed, the Bank of England warns of a one in three chance of recession, even if there is a deal. A so-called ‘no-deal’ Brexit would almost certainly plunge Britain into a recession, according to the OBR, the government’s independent forecasting body.
Despite these warnings of the catastrophic impact any kind of Brexit will have, many Brexiteers argue that a second referendum goes “against democracy” and disrespects the outcome of the 2016 referendum.
However, democracy only exists if there is a level playing field between rival campaigns. It’s the Vote Leave campaign that went against democracy, selling the British public lies via undeclared use of citizens’ data and dark advertising on platforms like Facebook. These adverts included using immigrants as a scapegoat for Britain’s problems, and immigration “reform” as a way to “take back control”.
Moreover, Brexit was sold to the British people without the terms of the deal laid out. Even now, three years on, politicians are still fighting over what kind of Brexit deal we should have. Whilst Boris Johnson has insisted he is not planning for a general election before the UK is due to leave the EU on 31st October, many believe he will call one in early September if he cannot get a better deal with the EU and he will use this to ask the British for a mandate to take Britain out without a deal.
Indeed, a general election certainly seems likely, with Johnson’s first moves as Prime Minister being a whistle stop tour of the country and a plan to spend £100 million on advertising alone in the next three months – remind anyone else of an election campaign?
With Johnson gearing up for a snap election, we need to make sure we get a chance to put the future of our country back to the people. Under 35s are overwhelmingly pro-remain. Indeed, in 2016, most young people voted against Brexit, and even more of us oppose it now. Nearly two million young people have become eligible to vote since June 2016. These newly eligible voters now outnumber the Leave side’s 1.26 million majority over Remain. No wonder the Brexiteers are so anxious to avoid a confirmatory referendum…
Whilst most young people are registered to vote, one third of 18-34-year olds in the UK have not yet signed up, according to the Electoral Commission. Therefore, it is vital that we reach out to all young people, especially those who aren’t yet politically active, and to show them why it is so important to their future that we retain our EU membership.
So if there is one thing you do today: register to vote at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote so that you can make your voice heard if we are offered a final say referendum, as well as vote for the political party you feel best represents your views should a general election be called. Don’t forget to tell your friends too – the future of our country depends on it.