A few nights back I was sat in a small, overly-warm BBC studio waiting to argue that young people, and Britain, would be better off outside the European Union. The debate was centred around the comments made by the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, who earlier had said that our generation were ‘internationalists’ and thus ought to lobby our elder relatives to want to remain in the EU.
My argument was a simple one. The European Union has been anything but good for young people. In fact, it has already created the lost generation on the continent that Nicky Morgan was warning may happen to us. The eye-watering high youth unemployment figures in Greece, Spain and Portugal serve as an indicator that if we want to protect our futures we should use our vote to reclaim our independence.
That said, international cooperation should be important to all of us. A strong and powerful United Kingdom is needed more than ever to see positive change in our world. This is at the heart of why I am voting to leave the European Union. As a member, we are tied to the mast of a sinking ship. Our economy, our influence and our future is being weighed down by the depressing ‘regionalism’ of European politicians. The jobs of the future aren’t going to be dealing with Europe, but the rising economies of the East. Britain has all the tools to be prosperous – now it just needs the freedom to be able to use them properly.
Those of us in the Leave camp know very well that being anti-EU and in favour of international cooperation are not mutually exclusive. Myself and the thousands of Leave campaigners around the United Kingdom are living proof of that ideal. Our young generation is the first to recognise the role that globalisation plays. It is our generation that will benefit massively from trade deals with the rest of the world. High-skilled, well paid jobs will doubtless be created because of British businesses being able to freely export and trade with the growing economies of tomorrow.
The Remain camp has foolishly taken for granted the support of younger generations. I recognised this first hand when called to comment on Nicky Morgan’s comments. Partly because of the reforms that she and her predecessor enacted, I am confident in the future of our country. Voting to leave the European Union is to vote for a brighter, more prosperous and more internationalist future for our generation.
Connor Donnithorne is studying Politics and International Relations at Bristol University, and was born and still lives in Cornwall. His politics centres around one important ideal: that the individual should be given the freedom and the opportunity to make the decisions that shape their lives.