:bsz International commentary: Young people voted to remain in the EU, but 64 percent stayed home
Students, where have you been?
In or out? Even after the referendum, many questions are left unanswered.
Veröffentlicht am Mo, 27/06/2016 - 19:21
The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union (EU) by 52 to 48 percent. Students and the younger population are shocked by the results as most of them voted to remain in the EU. However, a fairly large number of them stayed home or enjoyed the Glastonbury music festival instead.
With a turnout of 72.2 percent, the majority of Great Britain voted to leave the EU. A lot of other breaking news have reached the smartphones of EU-citizens since Thursday: Britain is out, Prime Minister David Cameron is also ready to leave, the EU has urged the UK to hold speedy talks on leaving the Union to cancel their membership.
And the students? They want to call off the Brexit and have already started a petition – with little prospect of success. Although the younger Brits between the age of 18 to 24 have voted to #Bremain with a majority of 64 percent, a large portion of the younger generation stayed home or was listening to rock bands at Glastonbury’s music festival. In contrast to that, 85 percent of the 65+ generation have voted to leave the EU. Haven’t the students been aware of the consequences of disregarding this historical referendum? And isn’t it ironic that the old generation of 65+ has decided the future of the youth? Still, when the younger generation argues now that the old one is solely responsible for this disaster, they are wrong!
Democracy is struggling – but it’s worth it!
Even worse: It is alarming that new horrific scenarios are propagated by right-wing politicians. Nigel Farage from UKIP is now clapping his hands and seems to have reached his personal political aim: to divide Europe and to promote nationalistic ideas in the UK.
Similar ideas are even coming from the (more or less) moderate Tories in the person of the designated successor of Prime Minister David Cameron: Boris Johnson. He is the head of the Brexit discussion and is shifting the public opinion to the right-hand side. But instead of being disappointed and angry, one should take ones privilege of suffrage to use it for the better. And be careful to not forget about it.
Last chance article 50?
The latest news about the referendum describe another possible scenario of how it might go on with the EU and the UK: Article 50, Chapter I of the Lisbon Treaty, preaches that “any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements”. But the British Government first needs to inform the EU about their reason for withdrawing. But they might slow down this process to eventually stay in the EU. Neither the referendum nor the upcoming petition about a possible new referendum is legally binding, though.
What’s important is: Going to the polls, using the suffrage, making active democracy – which is, especially for the young generation, no matter of course. Even if David Cameron overruled the results of this referendum and left the British Parliament to decide about staying in the EU (which is unlikely) the younger generation should be aware of their own actions. Even when they are listening to Muse in Glastonbury.