Seema Malhotra MP for Feltham and Heston has called on the government to extend the vote to 16 and 17 year olds ahead of the EU referendum. Speaking outside Parliament at the Westminster launch of the ‘Votes at 16’ campaign, Ms Malhotra said,
“It is time to extend the voting age to 16 and 17 year olds. The EU referendum will have a huge impact on jobs and opportunities for young people and it is right that they should have an equal say in the outcome.”
The ‘Votes at 16’ campaign comes in the wake of the successful inclusion of 16 and 17 year olds in the Scottish Referendum and as part of a wider campaign to extend the franchise to these ages. European countries such as Austria have votes at 16, as do Channel Islands such as Jersey and Guernsey.
“We saw 16 and 17 years old vote during the Scottish referendum and it was an unqualified success, that campaign electrified the country and in part due to the enthusiasm of the young people involved. Extending the franchise would give young people the chance to debate the issue at school and in the community and engage on a vital issue for this Parliament.”