Why we're so scared of Brexit
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When the date of the EU referendum was announced at the end of February, I braced myself for an onslaught of scare tactics and panic-stricken articles from both sides of the debate. I knew it would be passionately fought across the spectrum of beliefs, yet I wasn’t prepared for the near total dearth of young people’s voices. Where were they? I began to worry early on after noticing that piles of ‘Vote Leave’ leaflets urging us to ‘reclaim’ the NHS were being handed out on my university campus each week. Having pointedly declined to take one many times, I began to wonder where my fellow ‘Stronger In’ voices were; I wasn’t seeing pro-EU engagement from my student peers – but I knew it existed. Young people have plenty of obstacles to contend with if they want to make it to the ballot box on June 23rd. First of all, they’re apparently less likely to vote, and hundreds of thousands of students are missing off the electoral register altogether as a result of changes in the voter registration process. Second, the news at the end of last year that voting will not be extended to 16-year-olds, despite them being allowed to vote in 2014’s Scottish independence referendum, was very disappointing. Finally there’s the small fact that the EU referendum coincides with Glastonbury Music Festival – very convenient, one might say, considering up to 200,000 mostly-young voters will therefore need to register to vote by post if they want to be heard.
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