12 facts about Brexit, Europe's 'year of change', millennials and Gen Z

As Prime Minister Theresa May faces a critical Westminster vote on her deal, the Brexit roller coaster rumbles on - thrilling some, and making many others feel a bit nauseous.

The younger generations in the UK are generally accepted to be more unhappy about Brexit than the average citizen - and they will probably be even more unhappy in the event of no deal.

Britain is due to leave the EU on March 29. May has offered the UK parliament a vote to delay Brexit if her planned deal for a EU divorce is rejected by MPs.

Amid the political turmoil and media maelstrom, we’ve gathered together a few facts about young people and the EU.

  1. Any Briton born after 1974 has only ever known holding both British and EU citizenship.

  2. According to Millennial Dialogue on Europe, a report from ThinkYoung which surveyed 10,000 millennials aged 18-35 across 19 member states, in 2014 just 27% of young people aged 18-24 voted for a European Member of Parliament.

  3. The NGO says millennials aged 18-35 make up roughly a quarter of Europe’s entire population. In Poland they represent 28%, while in Italy only 19%.

  4. ThinkYoung found 80% of millennials believe in the value of the EU.

  5. However asked if the EU was heading in the right or wrong direction, there was a near 50/50 split, with 53% saying it was heading in the wrong direction.

  6. ThinkYoung cites economic recession, terrorist attacks, digital transformations, social media, globalisation, racial and ethnic diversity and expanded educational opportunity as unique life experiences that have shaped the millennial generation, the first generation to come of age in the new millennium.

  7. When asked the top initiative to encourage more young people to engage in political life in Europe, 22.1% chose “create more roles for young people in politics (youth advisors, youth councils, ambassadors)”.

  8. The pollster Ipsos MORI estimated that 75% of Britons aged 18-24 wanted the UK to stay in the EU, although they were also the least likely to have voted.

  9. While 90% of over-65s turned up to vote in the referendum on June 23 2016, only about 64% of 18-24 year-olds did. Of the over-65s, 40% supported Remain.

  10. A London School of Economics Report commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Young People found one of the biggest concerns of young people was Britain becoming less tolerant and more racist after Brexit.

  11. Research shows that millennials across the EU28 wish Britain would stay and fear the consequences of Brexit far more than older generations.

  12. Proposals that could help get young people voting include: lowering the voting age to 16 (proposed by the European Commission), quotas for youth candidates, required civics education and online voting. Austria, Malta, Germany and Scotland have already lowered the voting age to 16.

Test your Brexit knowledge with Graham’s quiz:

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