5 Reasons why a young person should vote remain
Arguably the biggest political decision the UK has ever taken will be made on Thursday the 23rd June. On that day, both Scotland and the rest of the UK will make a decision that will affect and impact young people like you and me for the rest of our lives. The Question – Should the UK remain a member of the European Union, or Leave the European Union?
My name is Ross Hutton, and all my life Scotland has been a member of the EU. I have never known of anything different. Holidays, travel abroad and meeting people from different places and having different cultures has always seemed normal to me.
To be totally honest, I started this referendum pretty much uninterested in the EU. Being mindful of politics in the last few years, I just reckoned that I would pick it up as the campaign went along. Over the last few weeks, I came to the realisation that I was not actually going to get any real facts from the two official campaigns, just hysteria and scaremongering. I decided to research the EU myself and see what Impact ‘Brexit’ would really have on young people my age. Since then, it has now become my passionately held view that we should remain a member of the EU.
The purpose of this blog is to outline why this should also be your passionately held view as well, by explaining the five biggest reasons why a young person should vote to Remain on June 23rd.
1 – Freedom of movement
Remember that weekend away In Amsterdam with your boyfriend/girlfriend? How about that 6th year holiday to Malouf or Ayia Napa with your mates? Or the gap year you once took to go study in Barcelona? You might not even have noticed, but all this was made easier by being a member of the EU.
EU membership allows you to travel freely across any of the EU’s 28 member states. Better still, it allows you to study freely abroad, as well as work and live freely within the EU. It is also claimed by people such as the Boss of RyanAir Michael O’leary, that being In the EU makes holiday flights cheaper. Another EU bonus!
2 – The Environment and fighting climate change
Young people more than anyone know the long term dangers of climate change, and the EU has been instrumental in the fight against it. One of the EU’s biggest benefits to Scotland is International co-operation in tackling climate change. The EU has set targets for all its members, such as cutting carbon emissions by 20%, and a 20% increase in Renewable energy by 2020. The EU has also provided money for Scottish renewable energy programs which are crucial to tackling climate change in this country. It is vital that we remain in the EU so that together we can fight to make sure that we have a world that is sustainable and safe for our future. In simple terms, pollution across Europe would mean our efforts were wasted. We need a combined approach.
3 – Education
As previously mentioned, Scottish students have benefited from being able to easily study abroad in the EU, with around 13% of Scottish Students currently taking advantage of this EU benefit. This provides Scottish Students with a fantastic opportunity to gain an insight into other cultures and expand their world view. The EU has also invested heavily in Scottish Universities, ensuring that their world-leading research and development programs can continue. This funding is essential to the success of many Scottish Universities, and outside the EU there is no guarantee that this funding will still be available.
4 – Employment opportunities
Currently it is estimated that around 314,000 Jobs In Scotland are linked to the EU, and with ever increasing investment from foreign countries in Scotland, there is no doubt that the Jobs of the future in Scotland will be linked with the EU. It is therefore vital for our future employment opportunities that Scotland remains in the EU so that we remain an attractive place for businesses to invest and create jobs for young people. That aside, the EU creates employment in Scotland by virtue of EU funded projects. In certain rural or remote locations, this EU funding is so crucial that the project would never have got off the ground.
5 – Equality and Your rights
EU laws have made it illegal to be discriminated against on the basis of your gender, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or religion. Many young people work in part-time Jobs, and EU laws ensure that part-time workers receive equal treatment to full-time workers. For example, part-time workers must receive the same treatment for pay rates, and the same training and career development opportunities as full-time workers. To protect your rights at work from a Conservative UK government itching to pummel them, it is vital that you vote to Remain.
Those are just some of the many reasons why I believe that you should vote to Remain in the EU. The EU has laid the foundations to build, not just a better and more equal country here In Scotland and the UK, but a better and more equal continent for our future. To walk away from Europe now, when it needs us more than ever, would be to throw away everything we hold dear as a country. So let’s vote to remain in the EU on June 23rd, and let’s help build the positive future that we, the future of Europe, deserve.
Ross Hutton – East Kilbride SNP Youth Officer