Britain has voted to leave the EU with 52% of the overall vote. It is a significant moment.
The referendum has revealed a deep generational and social divide in the country. According to polling data from YouGov, 75% of young people aged 18 to 24 voted to remain in the European Union. There are no official statistics at this moment for the how many 18-24s actually voted at all. But according to various social media sources, the turnout is thought to be approximately 36%. Older voters pushed the result through for leave. It is the young generation who are most likely to be affected by the consequences of the Brexit and who must live with it the longest. However, there need to be opportunities to make the issues that young people care about a priority during the Brexit negotiations.
Finally, the EU referendum raises broader questions about political engagement of the young generation. The low voting turnout of young people in the referendum does not necessarily mean that non-voting youths are desinterested in politics. It rather seems that young people have no trust in institutions or politicians. So it is high time to find and enforce better ways of taking into account young people’s voices.