EU referendum: David Cameron under mounting pressure to let under-18s vote

Labour and the SNP say they will demand a change to the rules

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David Cameron is facing mounting pressure to let 16- and 17-year-olds vote on membership of the EU as Labour and the SNP said they would demand such a move in Parliament this week.

The calls came as the Prime Minister met the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, as he begins his efforts to renegotiate relations with the EU.

The Prime Minister has promised an in/out vote by 2017 but revealed that young people would be excluded.

The shadow Foreign Secretary, Hilary Benn, said that 16- and 17-year-olds should be allowed to take part and confirmed that Labour would seek to amend the EU Referendum Bill, which is to be introduced to Parliament on Thursday, to allow them to vote.

“If a person aged 16 or 17 is old enough to work, to pay taxes, to marry, to join the armed forces, why should they not be able to participate in our democracy?” he said on BBC Radio’s The World At One. “The younger generation, in my experience, is just as interested in the state of the world and the future of the country.”