Open Britain and Undivided have teamed up to produce a New Year video message that focuses on bringing together young people who voted Leave and Remain. The video features young people who campaigned on different sides during the referendum but who now share the same objective – getting the best possible Brexit deal with the EU. It is the first time those who worked on the official, designated campaigns have come together in this way.
The young people in the video call for Britain to remain open; for Leave and Remain voters to come together; and for 2017 to be about the next generation. They say that ‘in 2017, we need to start the process of bringing Leave and Remain together’ and that ‘next year should be about the next generation of Britain.’ They argue that ‘2017 should be a year when we decide as a country that we want to be an inclusive country, celebrating different opinions’ and they ‘want to make sure young people have a voice in negotiations with the EU.’
The video also looks at the specific policy issues that matter most to young people. Open Britain and Undivided have started asking people under thirty what their priorities are for the upcoming UK-EU negotiations. Over 4,000 young supporters of the two campaigns have responded so far and three clear priorities have emerged for young people from their answers:
- Maintain opportunities for young people to live, work and study abroad.
- Ensure any changes to trade arrangements do not harm job opportunities for young people.
- Protect university funding and reform our education system to increase opportunity.
Open Britain and Undivided will be campaigning on these issues in the new year. Open Britain will also be teaming up with Youth for Europe to deliver campaigns across university campuses and colleges. These will focus on making sure that the voice of young people, their priorities and their opportunities are heard and taken seriously by the Government during the negotiations.
For the first time ever, Open Britain will be asking our supporters – of all ages – to sponsor youth groups, so they can afford the necessary campaign materials, which will be designed by leading members of Youth for Europe after consultation with their members.
Joe Carberry, co-Executive Director of Open Britain, said:
“Too many young people, whether they voted Leave or Remain, fear that their voices will not be heard in the upcoming negotiations and their priorities will be ignored.
“At Open Britain, we want to give those young people a voice. They want the same opportunities previous generations enjoyed generations – to work, travel freely and study in Europe – and they are prepared to campaign for them. We want to help.”
Elspeth Hoskins, Campaign Manager of Undivided, said:
“Undivided was created by young people for young people to campaign for the best possible deal from the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
“For too long, the views of young people have been overlooked in politics. In 2017, we want that to change, regardless of whether we voted Leave or Remain.”
Notes to editors
The video can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/OpenBritain/videos/1423538554353131/
The full text of what young people say in the video is below:
2016 was a dramatic year that will reshape politics and the UK for generations.
Brexit. Trump. Politics is changing.
For the UK, 2017 will be historic.
Article 50 will be triggered.
And we should all be involved.
Over our economy, security and environment.
I voted to Leave the EU because I felt left behind.
I voted to Remain because I cherish the benefits Europe brought to the UK.
In 2017, we need to start the process of bringing Leave and Remain together.
What unites us? We want to be open.
Open for business. Open for talent and hard work.
Open for trade and investment. Open mindedness.
Next year should be about the next generation of Britain.
Yes, we have differences.
But differences can make us stronger if it is celebrated.
Which means all sides needs to be listened to.
I want us to business around the world.
We should embrace all cultures.
And need talent from the EU to service our economy and keep public services going.
We want to be open to the world.
2017 should be a year when we decide as a country that we want to be an inclusive country, celebrating different opinions.
And this year we want to make sure young people have a voice in negotiations with the EU.
To ensure we can still travel and work across the EU.
Education funding is protected.
And make sure that young people have opportunities in the future.
Open Britain. Open Britain. Open Britain.
That can unite us all
Open Britain is a cross-party campaign for the best deal with Europe, including keeping Britain in the Single Market: http://www.open-britain.co.uk/
Undivided is a campaign set up for young people, by young people to get the best possible deal for young people out of Brexit negotiations, including by crowdsourcing their demands for post-Brexit Britain. It is run by young people who supported both Leave and Remain during the referendum campaign: https://www.weareundivided.co.uk
Three key issues have been identified by young people as being of priority concern to them when asked by both Open Britain and Undivided. These will be the subject of a campaign by the two groups in the early part of 2017
1. Maintain opportunities for young people to live, work and study abroad.
Young people in the UK benefit hugely from the chance to live, work and study across the EU. This broadens educational experiences and presents new prospects for those taking the first steps in their working lives. This should not change as the Government develops a new migration policy.
2. Ensure any changes to trade arrangements do not harm job opportunities for young people.
As the Single Market develops and deepens, it will create new jobs, both in large, established industries such as manufacturing and financial services, but also in newer, growing sectors such as the creative industries. These jobs should be open to young Brits, and so nothing should be done to hinder the UK’s ability to trade freely within the Single Market and benefit from the employment opportunities this will bring.
3. Protect university funding and reform our education system to increase opportunity.
The Government has failed to guarantee that every penny that was planned to be invested in UK universities from the EU will be protected until 2020. This was a promise made by the Leave campaign and must be honoured. Furthermore, the Government has said that it will conduct a review of public spending for the next Parliament, at a time when public finances will be worsening due to Brexit. It is vital that current levels of spending are increased in the next Parliament and that young people’s opportunities do not suffer.
that was planned to be invested in UK universities from the EU will be protected until 2020. This was a promise made by the Leave campaign and must be honoured. Furthermore, the Government has said that it will conduct a review of public spending for the next Parliament, at a time when public finances will be worsening due to Brexit. It is vital that current levels of spending are increased in the next Parliament and that young people’s opportunities do not suffer.