Video: Young people want a say in their future. David's Sixth Form Seminar on Brexit
Around 150 young people from across Stroud joined David Drew MP to discuss Brexit and share their views on our future relationship with the EU.
“There is no more fascinating time to be studying politics,” Mr Drew told the young audience invited to attend his Brexit Sixth Form Seminar at Marling and Stroud High Schools’ Sixth Form Lecture Theatre.
Mr Drew called on them to “stay politically engaged” before answering questions from young people from schools across the area, including Archway, Katharine Lady Berkeley, Stroud High, Marling and Pates, as well as Cirencester College and Stroud and South Gloucestershire College.
He answered questions on a range of issues, such as his views on another referendum, the border in Northern Ireland, and the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.
“We had a packed audience and lots of interesting questions from a very engaged group. Once again it was evidence of the value of extending voting rights to 16 and 17-year-olds.
“I am always keen to support wider political education and citizenship education, which is so important for us as a democracy and the functioning of our political system.”
Katy Ivey, who teaches Politics to Sixth Form students at Marling and Stroud High, said: “In my 15 years of teaching politics to the students of Stroud, there has never been a more interesting time to study it.
“We are very grateful for David Drew taking time give our students some answers on these pressing questions.”
David on referendums:
“Referendums are not good for British democracy, and I am not sure that another referendum at this time would produce a dramatically different result.
“As I have said to the thousands of people who have written to me on this, it would not be easy to get through the parliamentary processes necessary for a referendum. However I do think that we have reached a point where Brexit should be tested by the electorate, preferably through a general election.
“My hope would also be that if there were another referendum it would be a more educated debate.”
David on Northern Ireland:
“My worry about Ireland is that we cannot have a hard border. People would exploit any situation where they think the law isn’t working and that’s what would happen if there were a hard border. The reality is that there has to be a customs union to avoid that situation.”
David on EU bureaucracy:
“I agree that there is a lot of complexity in the EU. But we have become a more complex world since we joined the EU in the 1970s. Today, most of the world is in some form of trading block.”