June 04, 2016

Have A Say In Your Future (Right Now)

This is a guest blog by Rosie Warin, co-founder, We Are Europe campaign.

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There’s only a day left to have your say in your future.

What’s in your diary for next Thursday? Meeting friends, getting your hair done, yoga class? There’s an important entry to add – register to vote in the EU referendum. (if you haven’t already!)

According to the Office of National Statistics there are around six million people aged 18 to 24 who can vote, but 1.5 million are still not registered, and of eight million 24-35 year olds, two million currently aren’t involved. Are you or your friends amongst them?

If so, then read on. This could change your future.

The EU referendum will affect our lives for ever. As it stands, older generations are far more likely to turn out and vote on the 23rd June than young. And here’s the catch – they are the most likely to vote to leave, yet the majority of younger people want to remain part of Europe.

So if young people don’t register – and then don’t vote – we really, really could be waking up to Brexit on June 24th. Just close your eyes and imagine that.

Who would be happy that morning? Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. Those who would be devastated? Women’s rights groups, LGBT groups, workers rights groups, scientists, environmentalists, the Prime Minister, 288 of our most prominent cultural ambassadors, the vast majority of young bloggers.

So how to engage the young vote? This is the alarm bell question that rang out among a group of four friends, all in our early 30s. We decided to take action. The idea was to create a campaign that our generation can believe in, engage with and get involved.

The group has grown rapidly and counts Lily Cole, Jude Law, and Jamal Edwards among our supporters. Many of us are politically independent, few of us have got involved in politics before, but all of us were driven to get involved at the thought of Nigel Farage’s smug face on polling day.

We’ve called ourselves ‘We are Europe’ because we are proud of what being part of the EU means to the Britain we love – whether that’s the freedom to travel and work across Europe, LGBT rights, clean beaches or sensible working hours.

Last week, we created a mural to highlight the potential (frightening) future of Brexiters Boris Johnson and Donald Trump running the show. The thing is, it is actually a bad joke waiting to happen.

If you’re still not sure about whether to vote, here’s a couple of questions to ask yourself:

Are you going to let other people choose your future for you?

Are you happy going on mute and being ignored, or would you rather have your say?

Even if you are undecided about which way to vote, you still have time to make up your mind. But at least give yourself the option to have a say in your own future. Register to vote here, NOW.

We know it’s a complex issue and none of us are experts. To hear what lots of other people think and hear their reasons for staying in Europe, check out our website: www.weareurope.org.uk

You can follow us on Twitter: @weareeuropeuk and
Instagram and Facebook.

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