On Wednesday 18th October, I was invited, as a UK Youth Voice member, to attend the launch of the APPG on a Better Brexit for Young People. This group gives young people, from all backgrounds, a platform to amplify their voices on issues concerning the EU Referendum vote, making sure that young people get the best deal from decision makers in these forthcoming negotiations.
To give some background on APPGs:
What is an APPG?
An APPG is an all party parliamentary group on a specific topic, with MPs and Lords invited to discuss the issue, in this case especially with young people from a range of youth organisations across the country including MLMS (My Life My Say).
Why is there an APPG on Brexit?
The point of this is to make sure young people are included, and therefore have a say in the Brexit negotiations. Especially as the voter turnout for the younger age bracket (18-25) was significantly higher than first thought, as evidenced by the LSE. Also, young people will feel the impact for longer than any other generation and for this reason, should not be excluded from what is happening.
This was my first time attending an APPG in Parliament, but it was a good experience and was interesting to hear the findings of young people, illustrated in the report which you can view here.
This APPG was held from 6:30pm- 8:30pm, in one of the committee rooms of the House of Commons. This started with a video, followed by an opening talk by Mete Coban and then Ella Guthrie did a spoken word performance on how young people feel about politics and Brexit. This was a good start to the evening, and set everyone in the mood to listen to the research findings of Dr. San Mejias and Dr. Shakuntala Banaji, which are illustrated in the report.
After all this, there was a panel debate, consisting of Stephen Kinnock MP (Chair), Anand Menon, Paul Blomfield MP, Amy Longland and Cat Smith MP. Unfortunately, Conservative MP Andrew Blomfield, was unable to attend the proceedings. Throughout the Report Launch, people tweeted using the #YouthBrexitReport hashtag and this provided further discussion of the report itself.
I was lucky to attend this event, along with many young people and professionals from a range of organisations and it was nice to see a different style of event in the Houses of Parliament.