“British Youth Council calls for new Brexit referendum”

By Joanne Parkes

| 24 January 2019

A leading British youth charity is calling for a referendum on the final Brexit deal, claiming that young people's voices have been sidelined.

The British Youth Council, which is led by and represents young people, claims young people's views have not been reflected in Brexit negotiations or plans.

The best way to give young people a clear say on their future is for them to join the growing campaign for a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal.

"Young people's voices are not being heard in the Brexit negotiations,' said a youth council spokesperson.

"It's really imperative that the government commits to listening to young people and their concerns moving forward.
 
"The council also believes the government should hold a People's Vote on the final deal.

"This is the biggest political decision of our lifetime and we think it's important young people have a clear say on our future."
 
The call comes as yet more uncertainty looms over the future of the UK's relationship with the European Union, with the government's proposed withdrawal agreement having been voted down by MPs early this month.

An estimated 73 per cent of people aged under 24 voted to remain in the European Union.

The youth council said young people were "very concerned" about employability prospects, opportunities for young people, threats to our education system, as well as "rising racism and fascism within our society".
 
The organisation added that "young people care about their future and should have their issues discussed and addressed".

It continued: "We've also made it clear young people should be provided firm reassurance over their futures in the coming months.  

"We believe that the rights of young European citizens living in the UK should be upheld in wake of the Brexit vote as they contribute so much to the UK.

"We're joining calls for the government to ensure that the rights of young EU citizens, who have lived in the UK for over a year, to live, work and study in the UK remain unchanged by negotiations with the EU."
 
It also wants to see opportunities, such as the Erasmus+ programme, maintained.

"Young people and youth organisations, both during the withdrawal negotiations and in the framework of the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union, should have access to the same opportunities."
 
In the event of a People's Vote, the group said it hopes to work with the government and the Electoral Commission to get more young people registered to vote.