';}?> We millennials must not be left behind in Brexit Britain - Yo!Mag
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We millennials must not be left behind in Brexit Britain

Liam Beattie

Liam is originally from the south of Scotland and now lives in Edinburgh. He previously lived in Brussels and was an intern for the European Youth Forum, before becoming a stagiaire at the European Parliament. Liam now works for a sexual health NGO and regularly contributes to UK-wide media platforms, including the BBC and the Huffington Post.


By Liam BeattieAi??

During the small hours of the 24thAi??June 2016 voters across the UK voted to wave goodbye to the European Union, and with it an entire generation becomeAi??even furtherAi??alienatedAi??fromAi??a political system that continuesAi??to work at the expense of the views of young people. WithAi??nearly two-thirds of under 24s voting to remain in the EU and many expressing their deep anger by taking to the streets, the health of our democracy is now at stake ai??i?? the solution: engage and empower.

ai??? order sildenafil, order zithromax. Brexit means Brexitai???Ai??ai??i?? these were the hollow words uttered by British Prime Minister, Theresa May, in her first speech as the head of the UK Government. This offered very little insight into what the future of the UK will look like, norAi??did itAi??give any insight into the role young people will have within this likely long and drawn out process. As the country enters these unchartered waters young people,Ai??who will have to live with the consequences for the longest, must have a clear and defined means of shaping what the UKai??i??s place within the world will look like in the years and decades to come.

This is a significant challenge and relies upon two important elements. Firstly, young people need to continue to mobilise themselves in the wake of the referendum result. Throughout the summer young people in the UK became organised, they demonstrated and marched waving pro-EU banners in cities across the country. Given the UK has been home to some of the lowest rates of turnout in European Parliamentary elections among young people in the EU, these very same people are now engaged and energised. This must continue. Secondly, there is a big role for formal youthAi??organisations, in particular those bodies who work directly with some of the most excluded young people, to provide a platform for our generation to make its voice heard by decision makers.

Going forward, concerns shared among young peopleAi??are to do withAi??their ability to have the opportunity to live, work and study elsewhere in the EU, free from the burden of excessive bureaucracy, in other words youth rights.Ai??These rights do not only concern young Brits, but the thousands of EU citizens who have chosen to come to the UK and make it their home, who now face years of uncertainty over whether they can continue to live here.Ai??These rightsAi??and concernsAi??were aired throughout the referendum campaign, primarily through those advocating to remain in the EU. Following the vote, the fight to protect these rights continues. The warnings issued by EU leaders that the UK will simply not have access to the Single Market, for example, without maintaining existing rights,Ai??isAi??a sobering reminder ofAi??how youth rights now find themselves on the political bargaining table.

A recentAi??pollAi??published by the BBCAi??found thatAi??two in five (43%) young people admitted they have thought about emigratingAi??from the UKAi??following the Brexit vote.Ai??These findings should come as a wakeup call for the UK Government that its current strategy to primarily focus on Brexit through an economic lens, risks pushing away a large number of young people.Ai??Therefore structures must be put in place that give younger citizensAi??a spaceAi??to set out what Brexit means for them andAi??the role they want the UK to have in the world.

Over the course of 15 hours on 23rdAi??June 2016, voters in the UK not only dealt the EU a bloody blow but also placed fundamental youth rights in a position of grave uncertainty, by potentially degrading them to a mere bargaining chip in negotiations. The task ahead for young citizens is stark: we mustAi??continue to be vocal, we must continue to engage and most crucially, we must work to ensure that no politician dismantles our rights.

We only have one opportunity at this. Letai??i??s seize it with both hands.

Liam Beattie

Liam is originally from the south of Scotland and now lives in Edinburgh. He previously lived in Brussels and was an intern for the European Youth Forum, before becoming a stagiaire at the European Parliament. Liam now works for a sexual health NGO and regularly contributes to UK-wide media platforms, including the BBC and the Huffington Post.

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