‘My generation has the most to lose or gain from the EU Referendum so why don’t we get a vote?’

The EU Referendum on June 23. Photo: PA Wire

The EU Referendum on June 23. Photo: PA Wire - Credit: PA

This week's EU referendum will ultimately shape the future of Great Britain.

Surely this then begs the question: why is the voting only limited to those over the age of 18?

The general arguments by politicians of both sides seem to revolve around putting our country in the strongest position for generations to come. However, those of us who this will affect most can't influence this in any way.

At the end of last year, the House of Commons blocked a Labour Party proposal to allow 16 and 17-year-olds the right to vote in the referendum. As someone who falls into this 1.5 million-strong category, I was outraged that a bunch of middle-aged men and women who aren't in touch with what young people really want, decided that we'd be denied the right to express our opinion.

I felt there was no proper justification for the decision either. Did they deem themselves wiser and more-informed to cast a vote just because they hold a seat in parliament?

Whilst I understand that at this age we are not officially classed as adults, we do have an opinion about what is in the best interests of our country.

It will be our generation who end up ruling in a few years, so it's unfair if we have to pick up the pieces of something we didn't even decide.

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Those who brand us uneducated obviously have no idea how switched on and motivated many of us actually are.

Thursday marks a pivotal day in deciding whether we will remain a part of the EU or choose to leave.

This landmark decision will affect all of our futures so it doesn't make sense to exclude a certain group from the process (and arguably the most important one).

Unfortunately it's too late now to sway the minds of those in power before judgement day, however hopefully they will revisit the debate when other important decisions are required for our country.

Young people have a voice and it needs to be heard.

It's plain and simple: the future should decide our future.

• Aaron Cahill is a 17-year-old student at Attleborough Academy Sixth Form and is on work experience with the EDP and Evening News.

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