The time is almost upon us. This time next week we’ll be discovering the future of the UK. The future of the EU. The future of RE-UP.
Yes, the EU referendum vote is now less than a week away, and as an agency that celebrates multi-nationalism and cultural differences (both for our work and social life), this vote is very important for us.
While not all of us can vote, that doesn’t mean we haven’t all been engaged with the EU/Brexit debate… Or have we?
Have the debates, speeches and campaigns really engaged us with this debate in an intellectual way, or have we been left disappointed with the way in which this debate has been communicated?
“While I understand that it can be difficult to engage the ‘average millennial’ into a political conversation, the recent Scottish Referendum demonstrated that with passion and astute debating, the young voter can be motivated to ‘tick a box’”
As a young Brit living and working at a very multi-national agency, in a very multi-national city, this debate and this vote means a lot to me. Yet I can’t shake the feeling that throughout all the debating and campaigning, I’ve only heard a lot of empty noise (mostly about immigration).
Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% committed to voting on the 23rd. Although I’ll be doing so feeling as if there has been little communication about what the true consequences of voting out would be, or what an ever-closer EU actually means for the UK.
I’m obviously not the only who feels as if there’s been a lack of intellectually stimulating and convincing debate coming from the leading figures from either side, as a recent poll showed that 50% of under-35s aren’t currently planning on voting.
This should be truly scaring the pro-EU campaigners, as research shows that they will be heavily relying on the ‘youth’ vote if the country is to remain part of the EU.
While I understand that it can be difficult to engage the ‘average millennial’ into a political conversation, the recent Scottish Referendum demonstrated that with passion and astute debating, the young voter can be motivated to ‘tick a box’. There we witnessed 75% of 16 – 17 year olds voting – as did 54% of 18 – 24 year old and 72% of 25 – 34 year olds (according to the ICM).
So, why do I think people have been disengaged with the Brexit debate? Well beyond the most obvious tripe coming from the political elite, there has also somewhat been a lack of compelling marketing campaigns. The attempt by the in-campaign to win the youth vote through adopting a so-called social media tone-of-voice, or the BAME vote through demeaning stereotypes seems to have been more counter-productive than anything. On the otherhand the vote-out crowd has… in fact what memorable marketing have they done?
Yes, it would be difficult to comfortably fit an entire political manifesto on a singular poster, shouldn’t we at least expect there to be a sophisticated message – such as the Conservatives’ famous ‘Labour Isn’t Working’ poster?
“What about the museums? Or art? There are a lot of projects that are funded by the EU, to promote European cultures – and this would simply vanish”
I’m from Brussels, the heart of Europe. So obviously this vote means a lot to me. It’s actually a weird feeling to put your future in someone else’s hands. Of course, I’m a bit biased on this conversation – I don’t want the UK to leave the EU as I don’t want to leave the country (yet?).
Europe has been at the core of my life since the very beginning and I feel European more than anything else.
So I must admit that I’m going a little crazy when I hear both sides talking about it!
The leave campaign for obvious reasons, but also the remain campaign. Europe is so much more than just the few select topics each side are highlighting upon.
I feel like the rules of the debate and the topics covered have been led by the Brexit camp. It is hard to drive the conversation away from immigration and the economy as those are the two topics that have unfortunately dominated the debate. What’s frustrating is that there would be huge consequences in other areas.
What about the museums? Or art? There are a lot of projects that are funded by the EU, to promote European cultures – and this would simply vanish.
I feel that there are a lot of voices that we haven’t heard in this debate – voices that might have convinced some people to at least vote.
So when I try to put myself into a Brit’s shoes, I think I would be a bit confused on the reasons to vote to leave or to remain in Europe. And as a European, I feel irritated by the lack of ‘education’ about Europe in the UK…
Whichever way the UK votes, one this is for sure. We’re going to have a very divided nation from the 23rd and beyond.