Future Voices: Does Brexit result show that 16-year-olds should be given the vote?

Future Voices: Does the Brexit vote show that 16-year-olds should be given the vote? Photo: Rui Viei

Future Voices: Does the Brexit vote show that 16-year-olds should be given the vote? Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire - Credit: PA

It was a referendum that meant their future will lie outside the European Union, but in which they were prevented from having their say.

On the June 23, millions of people went to their local polling station to express their opinion on whether the UK should leave the European Union. The outcome of 'leave', supported by 52pc of voters, prompted a lot of debate, particularly amongst young people.

Teenagers took to Twitter and other social media sites in complaint. They argued that the result would have been completely different if they were entitled to a vote and that they should have been allowed to have a say in their future.

An adolescent from Norwich tweeted: 'The annoying thing is, if they'd let the 16-year-olds have the vote we probably would've swung it #EURefResults.'

Many others were angered as they believed the decision has been made by people who won't have to put up with the consequences as long as themselves. But why are the youth of today so eager to remain?


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Now we voted to leave the EU, young people fear the lack of unity amongst countries. They say they are afraid of our country being led by xenophobes who can't see beyond the shores of Britain.

On a more practical level, concerns have also been raised about the increase of food prices. Young people worry that export prices will increase, making their food more expensive.

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As the price of university soars, future students recognise that the cost of living whilst studying could become exorbitant and mean that only the wealthy can access higher level education.

Holidays are another concern. David Cameron warns that the average holiday could be £230 more expensive. This could result in young people being less likely to travel abroad on holiday in the future, resulting in a lack of cultural awareness. This in turn may fuel the 'us and them' mentality that is despised by so many young people who see themselves as Europeans not simply British.

So this highlights one major issue: should 16-year-olds have the privilege to vote? If they had have voted in the referendum, would Britain's future be different?

What do you think? Tell us in the comments section below.

Chloe Diggines, 15, Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form

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