There is much frustration amongst the younger generation in light of the outcome of the European Referendum held on the 23rd of June this year. Brexit has resulted in many ‘younger people’ blaming the ‘older generation’ as 58% of 64+ year olds voted to leave in comparison to the 64% of 25s and under that wanted to remain.
Brennus Moors, age 67, Falmouth resident of 20 years said: “I voted Brexit because I think its about time England sorted out their own problems and made their own decisions with the government.
I feel like the older generation have been through all that and are ready for the change as they have seen both sides of it and have lived through the last 20 years of being in the EU and are not happy with it so that’s why they want out.”
It has been estimated that only 36% of people in the 18 – 24 year old category voted in the EU referendum, 64% of young people did not bother. Should we blaming the older generation for Brexit or the non-voters of the younger generation?
Many ‘young people’ that did take political civic participation in the referendum and voted remain are angry at their fellow generations lack of support, by wasting their vote as they feel that together the younger generation could have overthrown the Brexit vote favoured by the ‘older generation’.
Izzy Adams, a Journalism student at Falmouth University voted remain and said: “I believe it is important to vote as it represents the voice of our generation and it is a waste of a vote to ruin your ballot card or not vote at all. The referendum determined our future and as a student I want the option to have access to Europe and to travel abroad.”
Similarly, Elle Kydd, a Fashion photography student at Falmouth University who also voted remain said: “This is the toughest most realistic lesson we’re going to learn as a generation. We didn’t get our act together and stand up for ourselves; we have never had any real issues to face – so when Brexit came along, we just assumed it would be okay, someone will sort it and look where it got us. Brexit has been a big wake up call, an ice cold self inflicted wake up call.”
The turnout for the referendum in Cornwall was 77% while Truro & Falmouth saw 53 % voting remain and 47 % leave. Sarah Newton, MP for Truro and Falmouth was the only Cornish MP that campaigned to remain in the EU. Falmouth and Cornwall were the only constituency to have a higher percentage of remain voters. This could be highly linked to a big presence of the ‘younger generation’ in Falmouth and Truro due to the university and college who usually favour the remain vote.
Sarah Newton feels strongly about young people voting and involving themselves in politics. She said: “Electoral participation is significantly lower among 18-24 year olds compared with older people and there are many factors to address in this situation.
‘They’re quick to moan about Brexit and point fingers but not so quick to draw an X on a ballot paper’
Encouraging young people to get involved in politics is something I personally dedicate a considerable amount of time to. I regularly meet with young people across my constituency.”
On the 23rd June, over 17 million people across the United Kingdom, and over a million people in Scotland, voted to leave the European Union. But the difference between Brexit and remain was close, 51.9% and 48.1%, if the rest of the younger generation had voted, the outcome could have been very different.
The gap between Remain and Leave was 1,269,501 votes. The anticipated population of 20 – 24 year olds in 2015 was 3,806,471. Shockingly only 492,306 applied to register to vote in the months running up to the election.
In January 2016 it was announced that almost £10 million was being allocated to increase the number of people registering to vote across the country. The groups awarded funding include the British Youth Council and UK Youth. A campaign by the National Union of Students is also being funded. But even with all this help being put in place to get all the younger generation to use their vote, it appears that they’re quick to moan about Brexit and point fingers at the ‘older generation’ but not so quick to draw an X on a ballot paper.
For all the younger generation that voted, you are the hope for the future as the referendum has proved that every vote counts. The gap between Remain and Leave was just 1,269,501, if we’d used all our votes as a generation our future could reflect one that was dictated by the majority of the younger generation, remain.