Imran Hussain

Labour Candidate for Bradford East

VOTES AT 16 IN THE EU REFERENDUM

That this House believes that the voting age for the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU should be 16; notes that many youth-led organisations such as the British Youth Council are campaigning for this on its own merits and as an investment in the future of our democracy; considers that the EU referendum is materially different to a general election and that different voter eligibility rules should apply because the outcome cannot simply be reversed at the next election, because it will have a huge impact on young people’s futures, because 16 and 17 year olds can already work, pay taxes, join the armed forces and start a family, and because, when given the vote in the referendum on Scottish independence, young people engaged strongly, intelligently and responsibly with the debate and an estimated 75 per cent of them turned out to vote; further believes that the only fair and inclusive approach to this historic, single issue and long-term decision is for 16 and 17 year olds to have a say; politely suggests that any hon. Members who do not think 16 and 17 year olds are either ready for such a responsibility or interested in the UK’s relationship with the EU should spend more time speaking to young people in their constituencies; and calls on the Government to legislate to allow 16 and 17 year olds a vote in the EU referendum.

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