David Cameron should listen to his voters

Labour Party

Yesterday’s blog showed how out of touch those Tories obsessed with withdrawal from the European Union are compared with the majority of British voters.

Today I came across this piece on Guardian Comment is Free. Talking about support for the EU among young people, the article’s author Selina Nwulu could have read my mind.

Selina tells us that a recent report from the Fabian Society shows that the majority of the 18- to 34-year-olds surveyed claimed they would vote yes to EU membership in a referendum. The report revealed that  most young people, despite economic instability and the burgeoning Eurozone crisis, still feel positive about the UK’s involvement within the EU.

I totally agree with Selina’s conclusion that there is a discrepancy between UKIP’s and the Tories’ anti-Europe rhetoric and the views of the pro-European majority among the younger UK generation. As politicians we should never dismiss young people’s views simply because they are less likely to vote than the older members of our society. Their voice is valuable and deserves to be both heard and acted on.

Selina also make a very good point when she asks that given the fact that many young people in the UK are currently facing limited opportunities, why is shrinking them further by UK withdrawal being discussed?

She goes on to say, “As youth unemployment rises and hideous terms like, “benefit scrounger” and “Neet” bounce around current day vernacular, youth engagement within the EU presents a mass of opportunity. EU schemes such as the Leonardo Da Vinci programme and the European Voluntary Service allow young people to work and live abroad as well as encouraging young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply. It’s crucial that the chances for young people are widened, not limited.”

Selina ends her article by saying it’s time the David Cameron and his Tory MPs listened. While there are those who feel overburdened by EU regulation, there are also many people who have benefitted from the EU in various ways – the educational programmes Selina mentions, the EU structural funds, grants to creative industries, equalities legislation and environmental protection, to name but a few.