Brexit has been a huge issue that has been all over the news and is set to take place on 29th March 2019 unless the EU agree to an extension. However, a large majority of people are very unhappy about this event, despite having voted for the UK to leave the EU during the 2016 referendum.
This got me thinking about one group of people who didn't have the opportunity to vote. Young people- for example, people of my age. We are too young to vote and have our say, even when such a big change could affect our lives a great deal. From the statistics I have seen, the younger you are the more likely you were to vote to stay in the EU (studies suggest just over 70% of 18-24 year-olds voted Remain, while just under 30% opted to vote Leave). If more young people were allowed to vote, the outcome could have been very different...
I did some research into the effect Brexit might have on the lives on the younger generation and stumbled upon some shocking possibilities:
There's no doubt about it- Brexit is expensive, however it happens. Aside from this, it is taking up so much of the government's time to sort out, that they may end up neglecting things like affordable housing for young people and young people's earnings. It's already difficult enough to buy your own property- won't this make things even worse? One article I read suggested that young people could lose up to £180,000 in salary by 2050 if we end up with a no deal Brexit. That's even worse that I could ever imagine!
2. Travel and freedom of movement is also a massive issue for young people. Over the past ten years there has been a 50% increase in students going abroad to study. This could become an impossibility for my generation, which seems extremely unfair. Brexit would mean fewer opportunities to live in multicultural communities, to study abroad cheaply and to work with colleagues from all over Europe.
Lots of people in the UK come from backgrounds of multiple heritages where one parents is from the UK and the other from another European country. This has never posed a problem before, but now these people may find themselves having to apply for UK nationality. This might harm their sense of identity, as it is making them choose between being British or European rather than giving them the option of both.
The UK might become less tolerant and more racist. I love living in such a multicultural community, where all races and religions are appreciated and celebrated. There has already been an increase in hate crime since Brexit was announced, and it's scary to think this could get even worse.
In conclusion, I think it is incredibly unfair that the people who are set to be affected most by Brexit are the people who were not allowed to vote.
What do you think? Will anything else change for younger people? Is there anything in particular that worries you?