Brexit: How united are the youth?

Brexit. Simply starting an article with those six letters will mean one of three things: you’ve already stopped reading, you’re still reading but with a heavy sigh and a furrowed brow or you’re reading with a look of glee etched onto your face as you picture a Britain of the future freed from the  bureaucratic clutches of those dastardly lot in Brussels.

The latter option is certainly not one that is usually attached to young people. In the media, young people are spoke of as one large homogenous behemoth ranting and raving about Brexit and paying as much attention to it as they do to their alarm clocks.

But is the youth population of the United Kingdom really so united in their view? More specifically, what about the young people in Lincoln, living in a city at the heart of a county that saw the highest percentage of Leave voters- Lincolnshire?

These are the words not of a ruddy-faced elderly white gentleman in a Question Time audience, but the words of a student:

“People are thinking to themselves what on earth is going on here- we voted to leave why are you not out yet? I think most people would have been happy with leaving on day one.”

More specifically, Seth Goddard, the President of the Conservative Society at the University of Lincoln.

He says that the Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal that caused the resignation of two cabinet ministers last week was the best she could have achieved.

He said: “A negotiation is basically code for neither of us are happy about this. If we sit down and negotiate over a contract for a house for instance, neither of us are going to end up happy but at least we’re not as unhappy with each other.”

Yet it seems as though Mr Goddard is in a minority among his peers.

A recent survey by the Higher Education Policy Institute found that 62% of students are in favour of a second referendum on the final Brexit deal.

But it is worth noting that according to Government statistics, only around 50% of young people are students. And even among students themselves, there’s more of a split than you may think.

For instance, take the differing opinions displayed here when we spoke to young people on campus at the University of Lincoln:

The view from the head of the University of Lincoln’s Liberal Democrat Society greater reflects the view that you may expect from students.

Matt Brooks said: “A lot of people think that [the People’s Vote campaign] is a re-run of the last referendum- I personally don’t see that.

“Whenever I talk about it to people I say an ‘exit referendum’ just to say are we happy with this? Are we sure we want to go through with it?

“We’re getting more people to have a say. Yes, some people might not be happy with it but if the country doesn’t want Brexit, it doesn’t have to have Brexit.”

Head of the University’s Labour Society, Will Fisher, echoed that belief.

He said: “Obviously the Tory Party is split on what they want in the deal.

“I think Theresa May’s probably done her best job but still it would be better to remain in the EU.

“It’ll be interesting to see, I think it really does need to go back to the people again for them to decide now that we know what Brexit looks like.”

Remain, Leave, back Theresa May’s deal, don’t back Theresa May’s deal, People’s Vote, no People’s Vote; it seems that students, like the country, are split.

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