LETTER: Give the vote to 16-year-olds

Turning 16 is a huge milestone. You can work full-time, pay taxes, get married or join the army. But there is one thing you can’t do: vote.

In last year’s Scottish Referendum, 16-17-year-olds were given the right to vote for the first time, and three quarters of them did. Almost all of them said they would vote again in future. This shows that when young people are given the opportunity to become politically engaged, they do just that.

Before the end of 2017 there will be another referendum, this time on whether the UK should remain part of the EU. I believe the 2,300 16-17 year-olds living in Eastbourne should be entitled to vote on this momentous decision over their future. These young people have the most to lose from EU exit. It would be wrong to deny those already old enough to work and pay taxes from having their say.

This week the Conservative Government was able to defeat an attempt to lower the voting age, despite 265 MPs voting for it.

But the battle for votes at 16 isn’t over yet. There will be more opportunities to change the voting age and ensure young people get their say. Liberal Democrats have campaigned for votes at 16 for years, and we will keep fighting to make it happen.

Catherine Bearder MEP


Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make our website your homepage at www.eastbourneherald.co.uk

2 Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/eastbourne.herald

3 Follow us on Twitter @Eastbournenews

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Eastbourne Herald - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.