Hastings Lib Dems welcome EU referendum voting age victory in Lords

Nick Perry, pictured in 2012, of Hastings and Rye Lib Dems
Nick Perry, pictured in 2012, of Hastings and Rye Lib Dems

Hastings Lib Dems have welcomed a decision by peers to back plans to give 16 and 17 year olds a vote in the upcoming EU referendum.

The House of Lords voted to amend the European Referendum Bill by 293 to 211 last Wednesday, which would set the conditions for a poll by the end of 2017.

This follows a similar extension of the franchise in the Scottish independence referendum last year, but the Government could reverse changes to the bill when it returns to the House of Commons.

Nick Perry, of the Hastings and Rye Liberal Democrats, said: “I am delighted that‎ young people in Hastings & Rye are going to have their say on such a crucial issue for our country’s future. I hope our MP will join me in making public her support for this.”

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, added: “This is a victory for democracy, we will give over a million people a voice on their future.

“In Scotland 16 and 17 year olds proved that they have they not only have the knowledge but also the enthusiasm to have a say on their own future. Taking that away now would do them an injustice.

“The Government must now listen and act, Cameron cannot turn his back on 1.5 million young adults.”

Paul Tyler, political reform spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats, added: “We cannot deny interested and engaged young adults such an important vote. This is a say in their future, and with Cameron ruling out future referendums, they won’t get a voice for a long time coming.

“Today I am proud that we have taken a small step to improve our democracy following a campaign that the Liberal Democrats have led for decades.”

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