Following MPs voting down the Brexit deal, NUS-USI has called for immediate action to withdraw article 50, and for a people’s vote to take place, to give people an opportunity to reflect on and reject Brexit. Olivia stated that 18, 19 and 20 year old students and others who didn’t have a vote in the 2016 referendum must be given a referendum as soon as possible to vote on their country’s future.
NUS-USI President Olivia Potter-Hughes said: “Let’s press the pause button on this shambles and withdraw article 50 before it’s too late. The humiliating and historic defeat for the Brexit deal shows there needs to be a u-turn on this issue. It’s crucial that a people’s vote is delivered. We have to be given the chance to prevent the UK from leaving the EU. We have consistently and coherently put forward our very genuine concerns, and students have not been listened to.
“We are approaching the precipice, and it’s vital that the UK applies the breaks and gives the public a chance to decide what the final outcome should be.
“20, 19 and 18 year olds who now number millions of the electorate didn’t have a vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum, and therefore they didn’t have a voice on their future. Give young people a voice, and give people the chance to examine all that they now know and have a vote that allows us to stop Brexit.
“Students are extremely worried that any negative Brexit outcomes will have a devastating impact upon further and higher education will. European Social Fund is the lifeblood of apprenticeship funding in Northern Ireland and losing ESF could see damaging cuts to many apprenticeship places here. Large numbers of students travel across the border to access opportunities in FE and HE, and if Brexit happens, it is crucial that cross border tuition fees don’t increase in the future and that student mobility is not in any way impeded. Protecting the UK’s place in Erasmus+ and protecting access to Horizon 2020 research funding, and the significant resources and opportunities they provide must be a priority.”