It seems like there is absolutely no escape from Brexit these days, and as we find ourselves slap bang in the middle of Brexit month, we set ourselves the task of finding out whether or not young people actually understand Brexit.
Thankfully all of our young people were aware of what Brexit was, and had a general understanding of what Brexit entailed. Despite this, none of the young people who we spoke to know what the Irish backstop or the single market was. This may not seem like a big issue, but it does raise concern that some of the biggest Brexit issues are things that young people are not aware of.
In case you were looking for some clarification on these subjects, let's have a Brexit Breakdown.
The Irish Backstop is effectively an insurance policy that means the Irish border will remain open, if the UK leave the EU without a deal, it means that Northern Ireland would remain attached to EU policies after leaving, that the rest of the UK wouldn’t. The backstop was a highly controversial policy and many MP’s disagreed with it.
The Single Market means that ‘goods, people, services and capital,’ can all move freely across the EU, by removing barriers to trade and unifying national rules. So instead of each country having its own set of rules, each country in the EU works to the same rules. This single market, makes it far easier for the UK to make deals with other European countries. Once we leave the EU, we will no longer be part of the single market.
Makes perfect sense now.
A second referendum, a people's vote, lowering the voting age to 16 to allow more people to vote. These are all hot topics in terms of the Brexit debate. So we had to find out whether or not young people thought that there should be another referendum, in which more young people would be able to vote. All our young people agreed that the voting age should be lowered to 16 and they were all of the opinion that a second referendum should be an option. People are better informed on Brexit and what leaving the EU would actually involve now, far more so than they were in 2016 when the referendum took place.
But perhaps the scariest thing to come out of Hollr’s Brexit Discussion was that all our young people felt that they didn’t know enough about Brexit. This is a monumental concern, young people will be directly affected by the outcome of Brexit, and it will have a huge impact on their lives but yet they don’t feel that they have an understanding of the subject.
Before we play the blame game as to whose responsibility it is to educate young people about Brexit, I think we first have to ask ourselves whether or not we actually know what’s going on.
But really, does anybody actually get Brexit?