Better Brexit Report

Date: 29th October 2017
Category: Other human rights treaties and mechanisms

My Life My Say, a new report co-published by APPG Brexit and LSE, finds that young people in the UK are worried that Brexit will increase inequality and intolerance.

Encompassing research from 40 focus groups across the UK, a YouGov poll of over 3,000 diverse respondents and 5 consultation events, this collaborative report from the London School of Economics and Political Science, My Life My Say and the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Better Brexit for Young People contains unprecedented research that sheds new light on young peoples' core concerns in the EU negotiations. Partners in Scotland included YouthLink Scotland, Young Scot and the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP).

Overwhelmingly, the research shows that UK young citizens do not feel that the Government is doing enough to ensure equality, social justice and shared economic prosperity, both in the UK domestic sphere and in the UK's relationships with other countries. Many young people in the study expressed concerns about the negative impact of Brexit on multi-ethnic communities in terms of rising intolerance, discrimination and racism in British society and the decline of Britain's multicultural image.

The concerns included the wish to preserve the rights of EU membership; the Erasmus study abroad scheme; and maintaining a strong economy that provides houses, education and jobs. Prominent was the idea that Brexit has politicised a generation and some young citizens viewed this as an important opportunity. However, a significant majority of respondents felt that citizens do not have enough political knowledge when it comes to the EU and feel that significant investment in critical political education is needed.

The report sheds fascinating light on how young people envision their post-Brexit Britain: regardless of age or which way they voted. Young people want an open, equal, prosperous society where their voices are heard. That's why the Report Launch on the 18th October will call on UK and EU negotiators to reflect young people's vision for post-Brexit Britain by committing to these findings and actively working with young people in the process of leaving the European Union.

Jim Sweeney, CEO of YouthLink Scotland: "Young people have the right to have a say in all matters affecting them and nowhere is this clearer than Brexit. Through youth work, young people express their voice and demonstrate social commitment. We are proud to have supported this report and look forward to seeing decision makers across the UK commit to the findings contained within it."

Mete Coban, CEO of MLMS: "The idea that they are apathetic no longer applies. This report is fundamental in demonstrating how across the UK, young people have a vision of the UK that is equal - something they feel Brexit could jeopardise. Ultimately these are the young citizens that will live with the outcome of Brexit the longest and that's why it is so important that this report is central to the negotiations."

Stephen Kinnock MP, Chair of the APPG on a Better Brexit for Young People: "I believe that this report will be a catalyst for the national conversation that we so desperately and urgently need to have...Young people want a voice in the Brexit process, and not one that is politely listened to and then dismissed... there can be no doubt that we now have a comprehensive account of what young people want from the Brexit process, and of their hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future of post-Brexit Britain."