With confirmation, in the early hours of the 24 June 2016, that the UK has voted to leave the European Union, we face a period of uncertainty over the next few months whilst new thinking and policies are developed to support our pathway to independence. This will inevitably impact the lives of young people and the youth sector that supports them.
Our hope is that young people will see this dramatic shift in our nation’s circumstances as an invitation to engage with the decision making process that is now underway. This is the time for the next generation to shape the future of the UK.
The closeness of the result and the surprise on both sides demonstrate that this is a truly democratic decision, with the outcome determined more by the grassroots electorate than by political leaders. The public have spoken and they have said they’re not happy with the status quo. The question now is, what next? What is our collective vision for a re-energised UK? What would we like the country to look like in five years time?
This is a once in a life time opportunity for young people on all sides of the debate to start painting a picture of the country they want the UK to become. The youth sector has a vital role to play in providing safe spaces for these conversations to take place and we must continue to empower young people to take charge of their own lives, dream of a future they want and work hard to achieve it.
Our hope is that the 75% of young people who voted for ‘Remain’ and the 25% who voted ‘Leave’, as well as those who were too young to vote, will recognise that this is a pivotal moment in our history and take action to shape the world in which they live.
We are calling on politicians and policy makers to fully and meaningfully engage young people at every level of their discussions over the next few months to ensure their views are heard and acted upon.
We are calling on young people to be bold and to set out a new vision for the UK that will benefit them and our wider society over the decades to come.
We are committed to empowering young people to create the world they want to live in by supporting them to access information and opportunities, to engage in decision making, and to lead social action initiatives
Paul Miller (NYA)
Anna Smee (UK Youth)
Chris Martin (The Mix)
Jessica Taplin (vInspired)
Thomas Lawson (LEAP Confronting Conflict)
Julie Bentley (Girlguiding)