Brexit: Young people gather at Parliament in protest at not being given EU referendum vote

Vast majority of 18 to 25-year-olds vote to remain in the European Union, but older voters ensure win for Leave campaign

Will Worley,Katie Forster
Saturday 25 June 2016 12:00 BST
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Young people gather outside the Houses of Parliament after the result of the EU referendum is announced
Young people gather outside the Houses of Parliament after the result of the EU referendum is announced

Young people gathered outside Parliament to protest the outcome of the UK referendum.

The vast majority of 18 to 25-year-olds voted to remain in the European Union, but older voters pushed the result through for Leave.

Prior to the referendum, there were calls for the voting age to be lowered to 16, but this did not happen and only those aged over 18 had the vote.

Teenagers headed to Parliament Square in central London to express their disgust over the outcome.

Some held banners saying: “Where was my vote?” and “Our future, our choice.”

“I am not British I am European,” said another banner.

In the UK it is legal to marry and join the army at the age of 16, but a vote from the House of Lords to lower the voting age for the referendum was rejected by parliament, who said at the time it would cost £6 million.

Alex Rawlings, 24, decided to join one of the small protests, which he said was organised by a group of art students and young designers, when he came across the group outside the Houses of Parliament.

Brexit: How Londoners feel about their vote

"It's such an important decision, and we're the people who are going to have to live with these consequences," he told The Independent.

"As a generation that is digitally connected to other young people across the world, we're possibly the generation which understands what the European Union is about more than any other, because we've grown up as European citizens.

"That's why so many people are so angry and disappointed about last night's result."

On social media, young people also made their revulsion at the vote clear.

Various hashtags opposing the result, such as #notinourname, #notmyvote and #whathavewedone, began trending early on Friday.

Older voters also expressed dismay at the result.

“So distressed that people of my generation can betray our children and grandchildren in this way,” said one Twitter user, adding he was “ashamed to be a British 72-year-old male today.”

Seventy-five per cent of 18 to 25-year-olds voted to remain within the European Union, according to YouGov.

In comparison, just 44 per cent of voters aged between 50 to 64 and 39 per cent per cent of people aged over 65 opted to stay.

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