Votes at 16

Yesterday the Government voted to block 16 and 17 year olds from voting in the upcoming EU referendum. The commons rejected the House of Lords proposal with 303 votes to 232.

The voting age was lowered in Scotland for the referendum last year and will continue, with 16 & 17 year olds voting in the Scottish Parliament elections in May next year.

The decision to lower the voting age for the referendum has left us with an incredibly politically engaged generation. Since becoming elected I have had the privilege of visiting a few of our local schools, the students I have met have impressed me with no end. I am always pleasantly surprised by the diversity of questions that I am faced with when I visit Inverclyde’s schools.

To deprive our young people from voting on an issue as big as the EU referendum is a travesty for their future political engagement.

Not lowering the voting age will also leave a democratic disparity between Scotland and the rest of the UK as young people in Scotland will be able to vote in next year’s Scottish Parliaments elections, yet find themselves without a vote in the EU referendum.