Last year Scotland voted in a historic referendum on independence. At that referendum, 16 and 17 year olds were given the vote - and proved decisively why they deserved it. They engaged strongly and passionately with the debate, and an estimated 75% of them turned out to vote. Following the success of that experiment, the Young Greens have today launched a petition to allow 16 and 17 year olds a vote in an EU Referendum.
Following the General Election success by the Tories, the UK is being given the chance to vote on its membership of the EU, by the end of 2017. The Young Greens point out that "this is a decision which will affect all of us, and an issue which many young people care deeply about." The Young Greens also say "that if the government wants the referendum to be fair and inclusive, 16-year-olds should be given the opportunity to have their say."
As the Prime Minister said about the Independence referendum: "This isn't a decision that can be reversed after the next election" and the Young Greens say this referendum is the same, they go further saying the result of an EU referendum may not be reversed "perhaps any time in our lifetimes, and it will have a huge impact on young people's futures". So they say: "It's vital that they are allowed to vote on it. We call on the UK government to make the voting age in the EU referendum 16."
The Young Greens' petition is available here