Since the 24th June, the effects of the vote to leave the European Union have been felt. Uncertainty lies ahead, but a group of young people from across the UK have come together to form the We Are Undivided campaign, a campaign seeking the best outcome for young people out of the Brexit negotiations.
I spoke to Elliott Goat, one of the young people involved in the campaign, to tell me a little more about the campaign.
“In short, Undivided is a nationwide youth-led campaign aiming to get the best possible Brexit deal for young people. We are aiming to engage over a million under-30s both online and offline over the next three months to tell us their vision for post-Brexit Britain. Engagement means interacting with us or our content on social media, actively participating in one of our 50 events in 16 different regions across the UK or submitting a demand via our new digital platform.”
“In the wake of the EU referendum, a group of about 30 of use came together to discuss how best to respond to Brexit. Between us, we voted Remain, Leave or didn’t vote at all (some of us are under 18). But regardless of how we voted, we were connected by the motivation to fight for young people’s interests.”
“We held a week long workshop in which over 200 young people participated and out of that came the idea of campaign that aimed to make sure young people's voices were heard in the negotiations. Since then the campaign has amassed more than 100 volunteers across the UK from a wide range of backgrounds and political persuasions. It has gained the support and endorsement of a coalition made up of more than 20 of the UK’s most well respected youth organisations and received generous funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.”
“From those too young to vote to those with a job and family, the scope of the campaign aims to include the views of an entire generation at risk of being ignored by those in power.”
The campaign launched on Wednesday 26th October, and Elliott told me that young people from the campaign have appeared on various news programmes, like Radio 4’s Today, the Victoria Derbyshire Show on the BBC, on Sky and ITV as well as “in most major newspapers and across multiple youth channels and radio stations”. But it could be easy to develop misconceptions about the campaign, and there’s one Elliott did dispel.
“I would like to make it clear that the campaign is not seeking to reverse the referendum result. We accept that Brexit is happening. It is easy to view a campaign by young people for young people as one driven by a group of young bitter urban ‘Remoaners.’ We are not affiliated with left or right, or differentiated between Leave and Remain but rather solely concerned with standing up for the interests of young people whose views are so often ignored.”
“Young people have long been portrayed as lazy and apathetic, disinterested in politics and unengaged with the political process. Yet it is young people who will live longest with the outcomes of the post-Brexit settlement so it is vital that their voice is heard during the upcoming negotiations.”
“This is the most important political process in a generation and represents an opportunity to reshape the nation's priorities. The views of young people can lend real legitimacy to this process – but only if those views are heard.”
As for what the campaign sets out to do, it seemed to be that there were two main things that Undivided was planning on achieving, but as Elliott put it himself, “We are not naive”.
“We realise that making our demands heard and then implemented will take time and most importantly persistence. However, we believe that we can make a real impact in shaping post-Brexit Britain but as importantly make young people feel as though their views are being heard. The campaign also aims to not just represent the views of young people but act as an example of how it is possible to bring both Leavers and Remainers together behind a common goal.”
“We’ve already had significant interest from MPs and politicians on all sides of the spectrum as well as potential partnerships with organisations and influencers who can directly take our demands to the negotiations.”
So now it’s your turn to make your voice heard.
“Under-30s across the UK are being asked to submit their demands for post-Brexit Britain. We will then curate the top ten to form a youth Brexit manifesto which we will take to the negotiating table.”
“Make your voice heard by either joining one of our 50 regional events that are taking place across the country over the next few months (details of which can be found on our website), follow us on facebook, twitter @weareundivided and Instagram, share our content online and most importantly visit www.weareundivided.co.uk to submit demands for the post-Brexit Britain you want.”
“Yet this is only the beginning. We now need to build on this positive start and push on to reaching our goal of engaging as many young people in this process as possible.”
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