Dark days for the youth of today in the 2016 UK EU referendum

Youth vote 2016 UK EU referendumThanks to mum, dad and uncle Knobhead, the 2016 UK EU referendum has narrowly swung in the favour of the Leave campaign plunging the pound to a thirty five year low and the FTSE down by 3% at the time of writing. The most annoying set of stats released to-date though confirm that it’s the older portion of the British public that were the deciding factor with more of them in the Leave camp, despite the fact that their kids and grandkids voted much more in favour of remain.

It feels like dark days for the youth of today when they’ll have to put up with the decision for a hell of a lot longer than the rents. It’s hard to foresee the extent of the ramifications of the vote leave decision in the referendum. The economy has already shown signs of volatility and with the full exit still to come, along with the prospect of Scotland possibly going its own way in the long run, we’ll be very surprised if there isn’t more fallout still to come.

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You can see the figures in full below, and it paints a very clear picture that it was very much the older age groups that swung the balance in favour of the leave vote with the 65+ bracket being the worst offenders. 61% of them voted to leave the EU and another 56% of 50-64-year-olds voting for the same result, sparking the exit, economic instability and potential breakup of the United Kingdom as a result.

EU referendum vote by age group

Recrimination aside, it’s incredibly concerning that such a resounding proportion of the younger generation are now going to be completely ignored as a result of the vote to leave. If that isn’t tough enough to take, the fact that it’s a decision that feels incredibly final and damning means that we may well be stuck with the dark days for a long time to come.

While it isn’t necessarily a done deal immediately, as soon as the wheels get up to speed it’ll be next to impossible to halt them thanks to the decision making skills of a generation that will only have to put with the realities of an exit from the EU in their retirement. There’s literally a tiny window of opportunity to overturn the UK EU referendum result, but as it’s already starting to close in, the odds of it happening get narrower and narrower.

The bad news continued throughout the day for the future of the UK and Europe as EU leaders called on the UK to leave as soon as possible. They have also indicated that there will be consequences for the UK as a result of cutting its ties with the biggest single market in the world, as they endeavoured to put weight behind the message to other EU countries that leaving would not be encouraged. With a fast exit and talk of “consequences”, we can’t help but feel that we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the after-shocks we may well go on to experience as a result of the referendum.

Rather moronically, Nigel Farage described the 24th June 2016 as a candidate for our own Independence Day, but right now it feels more like The Day The Earth Stood Still. David Cameron will be stepping down in the coming months, there’s a vote of no-confidence in Jeremy Corbyn floated by senior labour figures, the term “far right” is being talked about in Europe like it’s 1936, UKIP continues to scratch at the back door like a feral dog, the economy looks like it’s going to suffer significant losses and there’s still no word from the more official portions of the leave campaign about immigration numbers post-exit. And it’s all because the grumpy gramps didn’t consider the future their kids and grand-children want.

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Hopefully, things won’t be anywhere near as bad as they’re looking likely to be today, but if they go on to worsen then there will need to be a few apologies descending down the generations. If you can’t see through self-serving politicians and the difference between fixing immigration and a full retreat from economic stability then maybe you should give your vote up to the nearest 16-year-old who will have to spend the next sixty years living with divisive political consequences without being allowed to even have their say.

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