Posted on Wed 01 May 2019 at 17:47 by Eve Alcock
If you’ve been at all conscious in the past two years, you’ll have heard of a little something called Brexit. That thing that’s divided a nation. That thing that has managed to make parliament implode. That thing that you do not, under any circumstances, want to bring up at dinner parties.
So what if I told you, that you, whether you voted leave or remain, have the opportunity to seriously influence the outcome of this infamous B Word on the 23rd of May.
This year’s European Elections are some of the most important in a generation, and it is critically important that young people and students – regardless of political persuasion – turn out to vote.
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), represent their respective countries within the European Union Parliament. Yet the last turnout for EU Elections which weren’t held on the same day as Local Elections in 1999 was just 24%. But, if you look at the demographic breakdown, even that 24% is likely to be majority over 65s.
The Electoral Commission estimates a 3rd of 18-24 year olds are currently not registered to vote, whereas 96% of over 65s are registered. We need our MEPs to represent our whole country – old and young, not just the over 65s who typically vote.
Every election is decided by those who show up, and in order to show up on the 23rd of May to Vote For Your Future, you need to register to vote by the 7th of May: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. It takes 2 minutes, all you need is your National Insurance number, and you could have a huge impact on your future and the future of this country.
“I’m a Leave voter, why should I bother to vote?”
Representation in the EU still matters in the run up to the day that we leave the EU. If there is a further extension for example, we know it’ll be important that the UK continues to have positive relationships with other EU countries to help the negotiation process and enhance the chance of getting a good deal.
“I’m a Remain voter, why should I bother to vote?”
If we were to stay in the EU, these MEPs will represent the country for a full cycle of 5 years. Also, if there’s a lot of pro-Remain MEPs elected, then they can have influence within the EU Parliament and represent the voices of those who still wish to remain in the EU.
EU Students who are currently living in the UK can also vote for UK MEPs, but they need to do a little extra step and fill out a form which you can find here: https://www.vfyf.co.uk/eu-citizens
Remember, you only have until the 7th of May to register to vote! So register right now, yes, you, right this moment, and after you’ve registered, send the link to at least 3 whatsapp groups you have to get others to vote too. It’s your future, your voice, turn out and Vote For Your Future!