Brexit: Young people 'bemused, angry and resentful' about EU referendum result, finds LSE report

‘Young people in our study are concerned about the negative impact of Brexit on multi-ethnic communities in terms of rising intolerance,’ the report said

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Wednesday 18 October 2017 16:44
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Young people 'bemused, angry, and resentful' about EU referendum result, finds LSE report

Young people are “bemused, angry and resentful” at the decision to leave the EU which they largely blame on older generations, according to a new report.

The new analysis by academics at the London School of Economics (LSE) for the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Better Brexit for Young People warned there was a “deep concern” about the “negative impact” of last year’s divisive referendum vote.

The report – based on the findings of 40 focus groups and a survey of more than 3,200 young people and adults – found young people were concerned about the loss of opportunity as well as the impact on Britain’s image as a tolerant, multicultural society.

Stephen Kinnock, the All Party Parliamentary chair and Labour MP, said he hoped that the report would be the catalyst for a “national conversation” on Brexit.

“Young people want a voice in the Brexit process, and not one that is politely listened to and then dismissed,” he added.

The report said that a significant majority expressed “bemusement, anger and resentment at the choice to leave the EU”, which was made – in their view – primarily by the older generations.

“Young people in our study are concerned about the negative impact of Brexit on multi-ethnic communities in terms of rising intolerance, discrimination and racism in British society and the decline of Britain’s tolerant and multicultural image,” the report said.

In contrast a “small minority” of young people in the study expressed optimism – either voicing pride in Britain, or suggesting Brexit was positive for the UK because it had motivated young people to become less passive.

Previous research from the LSE has suggested that turnout among young people at the referendum in June 2016 was around 64 per cent in the 18-24 group – significantly higher than anticipated. Polling has also claimed that around 70 per cent of this age group voted to Remain in the referendum.

But among the 55-64 group it was claimed the turnout was around 74 per cent and it was significantly higher – 90 per cent – for those aged 65 and over.

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