Young Scots demand visa-free travel through EU

Brexit youth

Politicians must take action to address a number of concerns put forward by members of a specialist panel

22nd February 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Young people have called for politicians to take urgent action to address their concerns on Brexit.

Youngsters from across Scotland have made recommendations on EU funding; opportunities to work, study and travel in other countries; the economy, trade and jobs; upholding human rights; and Brexit uncertainty as they share key concerns about their relationship with Europe.

The Children and Young People’s Panel on Europe, a group supported by national charities Children in Scotland and Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights) and funded by the Scottish Government to ensure that the views of children and young people inform decision-making processes around Brexit, has shared its findings after seven months of work.

Key recommendations made by the panel include: continued funding of the Erasmus+ programme, allowing students to study across Europe; visa-free travel throughout the EU; continued co-operation on security to allow ensure young people are safe from crime; and for human rights not to be impinged by the Brexit process.

Panel member Soroush, aged 12, said: “Young people have to experience Brexit firsthand. Nowhere near enough information has been given to young people about what Brexit would mean for us.”

Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Government Business & Constitutional Relations, said: “When I first took on the role of UK negotiations and Scotland’s place in Europe, I was clear that I would do everything possible to ensure that the children and young people of Scotland have their voices heard in the face of this divisive and disruptive Brexit. The Children and Young People’s Panel on Europe has helped me deliver on this promise and their outstanding work has been important in my discussions with the UK Government.

“This report highlights the concerns children and young people have around future work, study and travel opportunities, protecting rights and promoting trade and our economy. I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing from children and young people directly, and welcome the report published today.”

Children in Scotland chief executive Jackie Brock said it is vital that young people are not ignored by those in power.

She said: “The work of the panel over the past seven months has demonstrated why including young people’s voices in the Brexit process is vital – and why they should have been included from the outset. We welcome their report, but our task now must be ensuring that their concerns are heard by the UK and Scottish governments and all politicians debating the Brexit settlement in the run-up to 29 March.”

The panel consists of 19 members aged eight to 19 years. All panel members were too young to vote in the EU referendum.