//That Time I Organised a Mock General Election at Scouts//

Lately my passion for politics has just come flooding back to me. As you may or amy not know, last year I stuided AS Level Government & Politics, and unexpectedly fell in love with it. Whilst studying for my A Levels this year, I’ve had to push politics to the side and focus on the subjects I’m currently studying, but I think the recent political events in the USA, France and now the UK, my love for politics has returned, as it were.

Today at dinner I was discussing the French election with my family, as you do, and suddenly remembered That Time I Organised a Mock General Election at Scouts™ with my sister. After doing a bit of digging on my old blog, I found the post I’d written about it, so I thought I’d write about it again, because it’s something I’m really proud of (and yet another sign that I was in love with politics without realising??? Seriously for the past few years I’ve been like ‘oh yeah history is my favourite subject and I want to study it at uni’ and somehow completely missed all the signs that I was actually really enthusiastic about politics WELL DONE EM). Funnily enough, I can still remember where the idea came from. Basically at my Explorer Scout group we had to take it in turns in organising the meetings, and as we met on Thursdays, our weekly meeting would fall on the 7th May 2015, which just happened to be polling day for the 2015 General Election. I noticed this when we were at the planning meeting in January to plan the meetings for the months ahead and as our Scout hut is used as the local polling stations, it meant we wouldn’t be able to meet at the hut on that night. it was n’t a problem, because as our leaders said we would just have to meet outside of the hut that night, but it got me thinking. Despite the fact that i wasn’t even studying politics in 2015, and had never studied in school, I remember being really enthused about the General Election, and the fact that our Explorer meeting coincided with polling day was just too good an opportunity to miss in my opinion!

So, I talked to my sister who was also part of my Explorer group, and we came up with the idea of holding a ‘mock’ General Election in which the explorers form their own political parties, come up with a manifesto, present their ideas to the group and then have a secret ballot. So we claimed tha evening as our night to organise and got planning!

As we couldn’t meet at the hut, we decided to meet at the local woods instead (which in hindsight wasn’t The Best™ idea because GNAT BITES ARGHH) and instead of getting the ‘parties’ to right a whole manifesto, we just asked them to come up with policies on the EU, the environment and education. I ended up being part of a party as well, because there was an odd number of Explorers there, and our party was called ‘UK Dependent on Immigration Party’ or ‘UDIP’ for short (political pun intended – I think you can probably guess our politcal standpoint). Overall, the evening went really well! I mean, we came up with some whacky policies that probably would never get us elected, but it was thrilling to feel like we were actually engaging with politics.

The result of the ballot was 6 votes to The Bush Party (don’t ask), 5 votes to UDIP and 1 vote to The Fromage Party. Instead of forming a minority government, The Bush Party opted to form a coalition with The Fromage Party.

I think organising and running this mock election is one of the things I’m most proud of doing in Scouts, because I actually felt like I as helping fellow young people to get involved in politics and to the help them understand more about the way the govenrment works in the UK. Thinking back on it now, I think this could be something I want to go into in the future – educating young people about politics. Whether that be through teaching or campaiging or what, the advocacy of politics in education is something that I’m very passionate about (you can read my post about why politics should be taught in schools here), but we shall see where the future takes me!

//Is Thatcher a good role model for young girls?//

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This weekend I have been studying Thatcher’s 11 years in power in considerable detail, as I came to the realisation that my teacher hadn’t actually taught us the whole of the Thatcher unit in our course book and so set about teaching it to myself. For those of you who don’t know Margaret Thatcher was a Conservative party member who became the first female Prime Minister of Britain in 1979. As a woman myself and a strong believer in the importance of politics in the empowerment of young people, women, and other misrepresented and minority groups, I was keen to investigate Thatcher’s impact as a role model for young women like me and why perhaps she is still viewed negatively by British society nowadays. Was she really as bad as people make out?

So I started with learning about what Thatcherism actually meant, as despite studying politics last year and learning about Thatcherism as an ideology, I feel like I never fully understood it.  Thatcherism is basically the key political ideas that Thatcher stood by and from what I can tell, they were given their own ideological term as at the time, they were considered to be radical compared to the traditional Conservative ideas of preserving individual wealth and private ownership. To give you a bit of background, what Thatcher stood for was the rights and interests of individuals over that of the nation as a whole, promoting individual enterprise, rewarding hard work through low taxes, the importance of law and order to maintain a democratic society, that law, freedom and justice was provided for all by British democracy and she was a conviction politician, believing that as prime minister, she should stick to her own principles rather than trying to reach a consensus which always required compromise. Although I pretty much have the opposite political standpoint on most of her key ideas, I could see the logic behind Thatcherism, so at this point had a fairly positive view of Thatcher, although I was a little skeptical as to how she could have transformed her political beliefs into policy that would have benefited the political and social environment at the time.

Then I went on to learn about Thatcher’s economic policy, which I won’t go into detail with as it is quite complex and long-winded, but overall her attempts to lead Britain out of recession – although they broke the trend of past governments – and her way of economic thinking interested me, despite their limited success. Generally though I am quite sympathetic towards economic policy as it must be so difficult to manage such a vast, fluid concept as a countries economy and it’s impossible to benefit everyone at once, so her economic failures in my opinion were no worse than past governments.

After going on to reading about her intentions to “roll back” (reduce) state intervention in the economy and increase the size of the private sector, I started reading into how Thatcher’s policies caused political and social division within Britain. This aspect of analysing her time in office really interested me, because instead of reading all the complex detail of which policies she introduced to do what, I was actually learning about the impact of her policies and how they affected real people living at the time. What stood out to me most, was a statement saying that Thatcher felt “threatened” by diversity within society. This is what got me thinking about if Thatcher really is a role model and an inspiration to young girls like me because even though she managed to fight her way to the top level of politics – something that would have been unheard of 50, 20 or even 10 years before she became Prime Minister – I certainly don’t agree with some of the things she did whilst she was in that position of power.

Firstly, Thatcher’s viewpoint of homosexuality was that it was a symbol of ‘moral decline’ and that heterosexual families and relationships were the norm which should be promoted to young children of the time as the ‘right’ way to live. As a member of the LGBT+ community myself, I was saddened by this. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t ignorant to the fact that discrimination and attitudes towards the LGBT+ community in not-so-distant decades were on a different scale to they are now, but it still upsets me to read about the fact that the government who sets the law and code which the public should abide had a role in stigmatising homosexuality as late as the 1980s. As a result of Thatcher’s beliefs about homosexuality, she introduced a law called the Local Government Act 1988 and in Section 28 of this law, it was stated that discussion and promotion of homosexuality within schools was to be banned. This is something I really disagreed with, because even during my school education I haven’t learnt about homosexuality, in fact i can’t even think of one instance throughout my primary and secondary school education where homosexuality was even mentioned, other than Christian views on homosexuality that we had to study at GCSE, but even then we only briefly touched on it. As a result of this, I didn’t even know that there were other sexualities until about two years ago and only discovered my own sexual identity thanks to the help of my internet and my wonderful blogger friends, so I definitely think education about LGBT+ issues and people is vital in helping the LGBT+ community, especially young people, feel accepted by society and to help others to learn about us and the issues we face. So going back to Thatcher, I an’t imagine what it must have been like for LGBT+ young people back then to live in a society where your sexual identity is repressed in every aspect of society.

Furthermore, as Thatcher was in favour of advancing individual rights over collective rights, she was also against feminist movements of the time. Feminism is also something I am passionate about as a young women, because I believe that nothing: race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity etc should stop anyone from being treated with equal respect and having equal opportunities in life, so naturally feminism is a cause that I am in support of. It sort of shocked me a bit to hear that Thatcher was against feminism, to the extent that she stated that a group of women campaigning against the positioning of American cruise missiles on British territory should be ‘eradicated’, because as  the first female Prime Minister, she was in a position to empower young women and make a step forward for the rights and attitudes towards women within British society at the time. Those women that she said needed to be ‘eradicated’ had every right to campaign and what sort of message would Thatcher’s attitude towards them have sent to young girls at the time? That they should remain passive and that their opinions aren’t worthy of expressing?

Honestly, although I could accept some of Thatcher’s early beliefs and policies, I struggle to accept her attitudes towards homosexuality and women. I know I must take into consideration the context of the time in which she was Prime Minister when attitudes towards same-sex relationships and the roles of women were still very traditional, but form the viewpoint of a young 21st century LGBT+ girl, I can’t really see Thatcher as an ideal role model for people like me to look up to. I mean yes, it is inspiring that a woman managed to achieve such power in a time where women were very much expected to be wives and home-makers instead of pursuing careers for themselves, but I think there is so much more that Thatcher could have done as Prime Minister to inspire more young girls to take up careers in politics. Of course, I still think it is important for young girls and women to learn about Thatcher but I hope that one day the stereotype of female politicians and Prime Ministers as being ‘just another Thatcher’ will disappear and the new generation of female politicians will forge their own identities and success stories that will act as a better inspiration for young women of the future.

//Les Américains: comment ils ont voté, une analyse//

Bonjour tout le monde! Aujourd’hui, j’ai décidé d’écrire quelque chose un petit peu différent – c’est probablement clair déjà parce que je écris en français, qui n’est pas normal pour moi. Par explication, je suis une étudiante de français depuis environ six ans et je pense que j’ai besoin de plus pratique donc je peut être (plus) facile en français. Alors, je vais écris une poste de blog en français. Pour mes lecteurs anglais et non-francophone, au bas de la poste, il y a une traduction anglaise pour vous.

J’ai voulu parler sur l’élection américaine 2016, comme c’est probablement les plus grandes actualités dans le monde en ce moment et après j’ai étudié le gouvernement et la politique l’année dernière, je m’intéresse à le sujet. Comme tout le monde les sait, le résultat de l’élection était pour Donald Trump et pendant que j’ai mon avis propre sur ce, je veux discuter des tendances d’électeurs différents, comme, par exemple, le pour cent des femmes et des hommes qui ont voté pour chaque candidat.

D’abord, une analyse des tendances des sexes différents et comment ils ont voté. C’est vrai que plus de femmes ont voté pour la candidate démocrate, Hillary Clinton – 54% des femmes se voté, comparé de le 42% qui ont voté pour Trump. Cependant, cette résultat était une surprise car Clinton reçu moins de votes des femmes que Obama dans le deux élections dernières.

Quoi est plus intéressant, c’est le fait que Trump a reçu la plupart de votes du gens qui vivent dans les régions rurales – 62 % – et Clinton a reçu la plupart de votes dans les grandes villes. Je ne sais pas beaucoup sur L’Etats Unis, mais je trouve ça intriguant comment les gens qui vivent dans les régions différents ont opinions différents et si j’ai le temps, je voudrais rechercher pourquoi.

Une autre analyse peut être rendu sur l’effet de l’âge d’électeurs sur leurs tendances. Les statistiques mettent que 55 % des jeunes qui sont âges entre 18 et 29 voté pour Clinton tandis que 53 % des gens qui sont âges plus de 65 ans voté pour Trump. Ce n’est pas une surprise pour moi parce que le résultat est similaire à ça de le référendum de l’UE en juin par le fait que c’était principalement les plus âges qui ont voté pour l’option “plus extrême”.

Et finalement, Trump seulement a reçu le vote de 8 % du gens noir comparé de le 88 % que Clinton a reçu. Je ne suis pas choqué puisque Trump est connu pour son opinions racistes. Trump a aussi gagné la majorité des votes protestants et catholiques, pendant que la plupart des juifs, et des gens de l’autre religion ou non religion, principalement ont voté pour Clinton.

De conclure, c’était une élection de beaucoup de controversé et il y a un grand nombre de gens qui ne sont pas contents de le résultat. Même si je ne suis pas entièrement d’accord avec le résultat moi-même, j’ai trouvé ça intéressant apprendre sur comment les Américains ont voté et les tendances du électeurs.


Hello everybody! Today I decided to write something a little different – it’s probably already obvious because I’m writing in French, which is not normal for me. By way of explanation, I have been a French student for about six years and I think I need more practice so I can be (more) fluent in French. So, I’m going to write a blog post in French. For my english and non-francophone readers, at the bottom of the post, there is an English translation for you.

I wanted to talk about the US 2016 election, as it’s probably the biggest news in the world right now and after I studied government and politics last year, I’m interested in the subject. As everyone knows, the result of the election was for Donald Trump and whilst I have my own opinion on this, I want to discuss the different trends in voting, for example, the percent of women and men who voted for each candidate.

First, an analysis of the different gender trends and how they voted. It is true that more women voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton – 54%, compared to the 42% who voted for Trump. However, this result was a surprise as Clinton received less votes from women than Obama in the last two elections.

What is more interesting is the fact that Trump received most votes from people who live in rural areas – 62% – and Clinton received most votes in big cities. I do not know much about the United States, but I find it intriguing how people who live in different regions have different opinions and if I have time, I would like to find out why.

Another analysis can be made on the effect of the age of voters on voting trends. Statistics show that 55% of young people who are between the ages of 18 and 29 voted for Clinton while 53% of people who are over 65 years of age voted for Trump. This is not a surprise for me because the result is similar to that of the EU referendum in June by the fact that it was mostly the older people who voted for the “more extreme” option.

And finally, Trump only received the vote of 8% of black people compared to the 88% that Clinton received. I’m not shocked since Trump is known for his often racist opinions. Trump also won the majority of Protestant and Catholic votes, while most Jews, and people of other religion or no religion, voted for Clinton.

To conclude, it was an election of much controversy and there are a lot of people who are not happy with the outcome. Even if I do not completely agree with the outcome myself, I found it interesting to learn about how Americans voted and the voters trends.

(P.S. I know this probably seems a it random to be writing about voting trends in the recent US election, as there are many other aspects of the election that I could be writing about that are perhaps more important. However, I just wanted to write about current affairs to help me practice my French and thought analysing voting trends would be an easier way to go about it than going into a full-scale rant about how I feel about the election, which I’m sure is what you all hear all the time these days. But if you do want to share your opinion on the election results, please feel free to leave a polite comment and we can discuss our views if you wish 🙂 Also, appologies for any incorrect French, I’m still learning!)

//Why politics should be taught in schools//

Throughout my 12 years in education in the UK, it was only 9 months ago in September that I first came across politics at school. Previously to that, I had very little knowledge of politics – to be honest I didn’t even know what the difference between government and parliament was or that there was such thing as the EU, let alone be interested in politics enough to dedicate a whole blog post to explaining the pros and cons of the EU. But now, after studying AS level government and politics for 9 months, you could say I’ve completely changed.

It seems ridiculous that, for 15 years of my life, I lived without even the basic knowledge of politics or how government worked – politics was just some ‘adult’ thing that us kids didn’t need to worry about until we were 18 and were suddenly expected to vote on important stuff. And quite frankly, it is ridiculous. I mean, it’s compulsory for 11-16 year olds to study and take exams in subjects such as English Literature but not politics? Clearly it is much more important to be able to write a 3000 word essay on how the plays Of Mice and Men and Death of a Salesman present the tragic reality of America in the 30s/40s than to know what government actually is, how our electoral system works and what the EU actually is. Politics is something that we are all expected to participate in and know about as adults yet English Literature (not slating English Lit entirely, just using it as an example here) – which only a small proportion of people will go on to pursue careers in – has a whole three years worth of GCSE dedicated to it. I’m not saying we should all aspire to be politicians, nor am I saying that a GCSE politics should be made compulsory (which may lead to political apathy) – I’m purely saying that politics should be taught and offered in the UK at an earlier stage than a-levels, which, by that time, you are already 18 and expected to make an informed vote.

So, without further or do, I present you with an awesome, very important list of why politics should be taught in schools:

  1.  When it comes to voting, knowledge is key: so, you’re 18 years old – congratulations you can now vote! But hang on, what’s all this about registering to vote? And what the heck is this manifestation? Manicure? Manifesto-thingy that I’m supposed to read? Do I tick the box or cross it? Does it matter? How many people can I vote for again? Why can’t I just vote for who I want to be Prime Minister? Ok so I’m not saying everyone is this ignorant to politics at the age of 18, but if it wasn’t for me taking AS politics this year, I believe I certainly would be. I honestly had no idea that in the UK we have constituencies (not constitutions as I used to call them, although we have one of those too…sort of) and that in General Elections we have to vote for an MP to represent our constituency in the House of Commons. I genuinely thought we just voted for whichever party we wanted to ‘win’ and form government, not that the government is formed of the party that has the most seats (MPs). If you don’t know anything about the electoral system in the UK (which is called first-past-the-post in case you didn’t know) then you are likely to be having the same misconceptions of how it all works as I was. The only way I escaped the state of viewing elections as some ‘distant, mysterious event that no one really knows much about’ is by studying it at AS level, something few people in the UK seem to do.
  2. We are the future generation of politiciansyoung people, yes, you and I, are the ones who will grow up to fill the shoes of the politicians we see in the news now. Believe it or not, someone you know from school will probably end up with some sort of political career, whether it be a politician themselves, a pressure group activist, a civil servant – whatever. The point is, we are going to be the ones forming the government in 10, 20, 30 years time. Now, it is a well known fact that the House of Commons is not representative in the sense that most of it’s members are older, white males who have had some sort of private education. Clearly, the whole population of Britain is not older, white, privately-educated males so how can it be fair that the people with the most power in society represent a small proportion of those they govern? The truth is, it’s not. In my opinion, the only to solve this representation dilemma is to make politics more accessible to young people from all social and educational backgrounds and encourage young people to pursue careers in politics, no matter whether they went to Eton or the local comprehensive. At the moment, the earliest possible time you can actively study politics is at a-level, as I’ve mentioned a few times, and even so not many people actually choose to study it because they’ve had no previous experience of studying it and hence don’t want to waste one of their four a-level options on a subject they might not even like. So, if politics was introduced or offered in schools at a younger age, it would give young people more of an insight into the political world and the jobs available ad perhaps make it easier for people from all walks of life to have political careers, instead of the select ‘elites’ that dominate the government.
  3. For the sake of democracy: fun fact: democracy derives from the Greek words ‘demos’ and ‘kratos’, meaning ‘rule by the people’. But how can we have a true democracy if we aren’t equipped with sufficient knowledge to be able to make an informed vote for a party/candidate that best represents our ideological views? How can we even form ideological views without political knowledge? I wonder how many voters simply chose a candidate because their tiny, 2-inch photo ‘looks’ the nicest out of the half a dozen others on the ballot paper or because they have the ‘best’ name…If a lot of people are making uninformed votes because they simply do not know anything about the candidates and what they stand for, then how can the results of the election be an accurate, true representation of what the people stand for? The thing about our representative democracy is that our MPs are ‘supposed’ to represent the views of their constituents but if their constituents don’t know who their voting for, then it isn’t really a true representative democracy. So, for the sake of democracy, we should be educated about politics at some point in our education to allow us to actively vote for candidates who actually represent our views and to help us figure out where our ideological standpoint actually is.
  4. Apathy needs to be reduced: why am I even letting myself get started on apathy? If there’s one thing about politics that deeply annoys me (ok there is more than one thing, but don;t get me started on them either) it’s apathy. In case you don;t know, political apathy basically means not being interested in politics, like, AT ALL. So much so that you can’t even be bothered to travel 10 minutes to your local polling station on election day or, even worse, not even be bothered to spare a couple of minutes of your time to register to vote (by the way, all those lucky over 18 year olds who can vote in the EU referendum, you need to register to vote BEFORE the 7th of June – I even included a handy link for you). Most people who are politically apathetic have that ‘view’ of politics being a boring thing that they don’t need – or want – to care about. But you SHOULD care – it is your chance to have your say on issues that affect your life. Also you might be apathetic because you just don’t know anything about politics or understand it so cannot see the value of it. This is exactly why we need to be taught politics in school. I’ve recently been made aware of an organisation/campaign called Bite the Ballot which aims to get more young people interested in politics and is driving young people to vote and #turnup for elections/referendums. I think it is a really great campaign and I would absolutely LOVE to get involved with it one day. Their website is very informative and as loads of shocking figures about 16-24 year olds politically apathetic attitudes (for example in the 2015 General Election, only 43% of 18-24 year olds voted) that really motivates me to want to make a change and help young people #takepower. I highly recommend you take a look, even if you are not in the slightest bit interested in politics – you never know, you might just change your mind! Anyway, back to the point – increased political education from an earlier age would surely help to reduce apathy amongst young people however I am aware that making – for example – GCSE politics compulsory could lead to more apathy as students would get bored and fed up of if they were forced to do it. I still think we should at least be taught politics in the run up to GCSEs (e.g years 7 and 8) and offered politics as a GCSE so that, with prior experience of the subject, more young people will actively be taking an interest in politics.
  5. Reducing the stigma of politics: at my school, as I’m sure is the case at many others, politics is seen as a bit of a joke. I mean, we all have a good laugh about how certain politicians resemble kids TV show characters (of the transport variety) and animals for the most part, but, does anyone actually know anything about these politicians and what they have achieved? Amongst young people, I find you are often seen as ‘boring’, ‘nerdy’ and sometimes even ‘mad’ for being interested in politics and backing up all these politicians that are becoming the source of teenage banter by explaining the good things they have done (although sometimes this is quite a challenge) for our country in counter to the bad and sometimes stupid decision they make that teenagers seem to hold a grudge towards politicians for. Perhaps the reason that most of our politicians come from privately-educated backgrounds is because in state schools politics isn’t viewed as being ‘cool’ and isn’t socially acceptable amongst young people. This is, in my opinion, purely because youngsters lack knowledge of politics and, as I mentioned earlier, often view it as an ‘adult’ thing that we don’t need to worry about or take seriously. But, if politics was to be taught in schools, then surely it would reduce this stigma and not only encourage more youngsters to follow political career paths, but to actually bother to inform themselves about political parties and to turn out to vote without fear of feeling ‘uncool’.

So, I’m hoping you’ll agree that there are lots of reasons as to why politics should be taught in schools in the UK. From searching the internet, I have so far only discovered one reason against my viewpoint – that teaching politics in schools could lead to teachers ‘injecting’ their political views into their students. However, I’m not saying that teaching politics in schools would involve evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of political party (because we all know that would end in some biased lecture about how so-and-so ruined our such-and-such) but that we should be taught about all the non-partisan things such as how first-past-the-post works, what democracy is, the difference between government and parliament etc. Therefore, I believe that there is in reality no reason why we shouldn’t have a better political education in the UK and, until we do, I shall be campaigning for the implementation of one.

//The EU Referendum: A Teen’s Perspective//

As a teenager – and therefore a member of the future adult generation – I believe it is important to be aware of the world around us and take an interest in the political decisions that the current generation of adults is making on behalf of our futures. One such decision being the UK’s upcoming EU referendum.

Background information:

  • The UK is holding an ‘in/out’ referendum on our EU membership on 23rd June 2016.
  • The UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, is in support of remaining in the EU and has negotiated deals for this outcome.
  • The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has declared his support for a ‘Brexit’ – Britain leaving the EU.
  • The government itself is divided, with the majority of Conservative (the majority party in the UK) MP’s supporting their leaders decision to remain.

Since taking up AS Level Government and Politics this year, I have gained an insight into the workings of politics, and consequently that of the EU itself. Specifically, I have studied about what powers/influence the EU has over the UK and what the EU itself does and have been able to develop my own opinion about whether the UK should remain a member of the EU or not.

Personally, I am a supporter of the ‘stronger in’ campaign, one of the main reasons being that I am not opposed to the EU having power over UK laws and being able to enforce laws on us. This is because EU law overrides national law of all of its member states meaning that in some cases UK law is insignificant due to an EU law that overpowers it. Although some would disagree with this as they do not believe that the EU – which doesn’t represent the people of the UK as well as Westminster Parliament itself does as the UK only makes up a small percentage of the European Parliament – should have more power over our laws than our national government.

Although I can’t deny the EU does have power to enforce laws in certain areas, the UK still currently has full control over: foreign, security, defense, trade, justice and economic policy. Those policy areas which the EU does have control over – for example environmental and agricultural policy – are, in my opinion, areas that affect and are relevant to Europe as a whole and are therefore more general policy areas so I think it is right that the EU is united on its policies for such areas.

Also the UK does have the right to veto (not accept) EU in certain policy areas meaning that for some things it is still in our national governments control whether we accept and implement these laws.

Therefore I don’t see EU laws overriding UK law as being that much of a problem of remaining in the EU.

Another reason why I believe we should remain a member of the EU is that being part of the EU means we don’t have to pay trading tariffs for imports and exports within the EU and it has been estimated that over 50% of our trading is done with Europe, so surely this must be a reason to stay within the EU?

Some argue that if we leave the EU we could become like Norway and still be a part of the free trade zone without actually being a member of the EU however I do not see the point in this as no deal has been made to secure this outcome if the UK does leave the EU.

A huge source of controversy surrounding the EU though is immigration as EU citizens are allowed to move freely between its member states. Some people are strongly against this as they believe that mass immigration is causing strain on housing and education among other things and that the only way to have full control of our national borders is to leave the EU. However, I have no problem with the free movement of citizens across the EU and personally think immigration is more of a benefit to the UK than a disadvantage as it helps to make or society more diverse and multicultural.

Overall, I’d like to say that as a teen it is important for us to think about these things as they will predominantly shape our futures. Whether you are an ‘inner’ or an ‘outer’, whether you agree with my view or not, I think it is vital that us teens get our voices heard and share our opinions regarding the EU referendum. Even if it’s just discussing it with your family or watching campaigns on the news, just because this is something that has been put in the hands of adults, doesn’t mean we can’t have opinions too.

When thinking about the benefits and costs of remaining or leaving the EU, it’s hard not to get tangled up in statistics that all seem to say different things, especially as a teen as the world of politics may seem very confusing and complex. However I hoped I have managed to explain my point of view adequately and will leave below a brief summary of my version of the different arguments below so you can make up your own mind.

Remaining in the EU:

  • Access to no trade tariffs.
  • Economic security/stability.
  • Access to the estimated 3 million jobs that the EU provides for UK citizens.
  • More influence on the world stage/in European affairs.
  • Less control over borders and immigration.
  • UK law can be overridden by EU law.
  • Government money continuing to be paid into the EU.
  • Less global influence.

Leaving the EU:

  • Control over immigration and borders.
  • Full control over UK laws.
  • Freedom to make trade deals with other countries.
  • Would save the government lots of money for not having to pay into the EU – ultimately giving individuals more money.
  • No one knows how much money will be gained/lost if we leave the EU – the UK may end up being financially worse off.
  • No deals have been negotiated with the EU for if the UK does leave so things like the suggested ‘Norway approach’ where we keep our trade link with the Eu may not actually be possible.
  • Making trade deals with other countries will even further reduce the amount of products sold in the UK that are manufactured in the UK – many people are strongly in favour of increasing the prominence of our national industries and leaving may decrease this.
  • Leaving the EU would cost the UK lots of jobs – estimated as 3 million – increasing job scarcity in the UK and possibly putting further pressure on the education system and increasing job competition within the UK.

Whether you are from the UK or not, I would love to know your opinion on this!

Thanks for reading this and considering mine. 🙂

P.S. featured image doesn’t belong to me.