This week my MP Rosie Duffield came out in support of a People’s Vote on the final terms of the Brexit deal. She was joined by twelve other MPs and MEPs from three parties, all coming together to demand a fresh say.
The authors include Labour former Cabinet Minister Ben Bradshaw, Lib Dem education spokeswoman Layla Moran and Green MP Caroline Lucas.
It’s one of many signs that the tide is turning, and despite both Labour and the Conservative party’s stance being staunchly against a People’s Vote it hasn’t stopped MPs listening to their constituents and breaking rank.
I should declare a bit of an interest here: until recently, I was the President of the Students’ Union at the University of Kent and I am also a member of For Our Future’s Sake (FFS), a student-led movement that is part of the People’s Vote campaign.
Young people can often be quite turned off by politics, for understandable reasons. Politics feels a world away from the issues we face day to day. It sometimes feels like no one represents us or takes us seriously in the corridors of power. Rosie isn’t like that.
Rosie wouldn’t have her seat without the students in her constituency who, because the vote was within term time, were able to swing her the 80 votes she needed to beat the incumbent. A man who had held his seat since 1982 and in all those years probably had fewer conversations with students than Rosie did in her first day campaigning.
Rosie earned her seat by listening to young people, and she’s keeping her seat in style by coming out in support of the People’s Vote.
Young people overwhelmingly voted to remain, and another 1.4 million people have turned 18 since the Brexit vote.
Now here we are two years later with the army preparing to manage shortages of food and medicine, local councils predicting social unrest and an increase in poverty and our Government collapsing from within. That’s the future we are giving our young people.
So to all students and young people who might feel disillusioned with the way things are going with Brexit: don’t be. Firstly, when you get a chance to vote then use it.
Get organised, join groups like FFS, contact your local MP, let them know what you think. Demand your right to a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal. Because Brexit is a big deal, and it’s not a done deal.
Ruth Wilkinson is the former University of Kent Students’ Union President and a member of For Our Future’s Sake (FFS), part of the People’s Vote campaign.
First published on www.leftfootforward.org