By Rosa Methol
The results are in, and although ‘Brexit’ came out just on top with 51.9%, 75% of 18-25 year olds voted to ‘Remain’ in the EU referendum.
Humanity Hallows asked Manchester Met students for their reaction to the news. The ensuing comments showed that the majority of students we spoke to now feel less sure of what the future might hold in store for them.
One notable response we heard was frustration amongst students that age of voters had not been taken into account.
Alison Irlam said,
“I’m just so disappointed that the future of 18-24 year olds as well as all those who can’t currently vote has been determined by the 75% of leave voters who are 65+.”
George Haigh voiced similar concerns.
“As a student, I feel as though we are suffering from the mistakes of older generations who had free education and cheaper housing. Being out of the EU is only going to get harder for us to have such stability in the future.”
There seems to be a general concern that young people have had their choices narrowed by older people who – to be frank – may not be British citizens for as long as us.
We also heard from students who have been able to live in the country because of immigration; a topic that has been used very controversially to gain support for ‘Leave’.
A thoroughly disheartened Sara Acanthe told us:
“I’m not English by birth-right, but I might as well be – I’ve lived here longer than my home country. England is my home and all my family are here. Hard working people in my family contribute to this country and yet we didn’t get a vote.”
To Francielly Cristina Dias Torres, a ‘Remain’ vote would have been a gesture in favour of equal prospects:
“My family and I have been naturalised British citizens through the last five years. I voted remain because I wanted everyone to have the same opportunities that I had.”
Jamie Stewart expressed a similar sentiment, telling us:
“I feel that my generation and future generations have been denied multiple opportunities for education, travel and love due to a campaign that was based primarily on hatred, fear, division and bigotry. I’m glad the referendum is over, but I am fearful for the future of this country, future generations and my European friends.”
With economic uncertainty and a lot of negotiations ahead of us, it’s impossible to predict exactly what is going to happen next. The future financial stability of British citizens has been a subject of much debate.
Mary Wharmby told us:
“You can basically guarantee that there is going to be a lot more austerity because this country’s taxes and quantitive easing cannot keep us floating alone.”
Jack Holmes added:
“The idea that more than half of British voters would rather leave a partnership designed to spread peace, prosperity and economic freedoms is troubling.”
In a country which until recently would probably have considered itself welcoming of different cultures and nationalities and proud of its European ties, it is safe to say that a lot of the population have been shaken by this result.
One thing is clear both among students both celebrating and coming to terms with this news: the campaigning that has taken place in the lead up to this referendum has created huge divides within our country. Now that it’s over, we must regain unity. The campaigning has brought out the worst in a lot of our politicians and – shamefully – in some of us. It is time for us to move forward, doing what we can to minimise divisions between classes, generations and nationalities. These wounds have been picked at during the past few months of campaigning but we cannot let our wounds turn septic. We need to clean them and walk on together.
For those who wanted to remain in Europe, it’s easy to point fingers, but we must remain resilient in face of whatever now comes our way.
Dan Broadley told us what he thinks should be our next step, with a slightly more uplifting message to spread:
“The democratic result is what it is and we can’t change that, so instead of fear-mongering, let’s stay positive.”
This call for unity is one that needs to be heard as Britain prepares to use the resilient stiff upper lip for which we are so well-known.”