Harrogate's young voters in outrage over referendum result

70 per cent of 1,000 surveyed university students supported EU membership.
70 per cent of 1,000 surveyed university students supported EU membership.
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Students and young voters across Harrogate have taken to social media to express their devastation at the referendum result, claiming they 'feel cheated' of their future.

Before the EU Referendum, Channel 4's FactCheck blog reported that people aged over 55 and over were more than twice as likely to vote for Brexit than someone below that age.

Now following the national decision to leave, young voters throughout the district have called out the result as 'horrifying' and a 'betrayal' as their future will inevitably see a move they didn't want.

Former Harrogate Grammar School student, Claire Margerison said: "I think the thing that's upset my most about the outcome of the referendum is that a large majority of 18-24 year old voters overwhelmingly voted remain.

"I feel cheated of a future that was more economically stable. What disgusts me most is the blatant attacks towards minority and vulnerable groups of people. Nigel Farage claiming that a vote to leave is against the elite and the establishment is just ridiculous because he - an older, white, middle class man - IS the elite and the establishment.

"People are so quick to blame the EU, blame immigration, when in actual fact the problem lies with austerity and a Tory lead government."

Harrogate-born feminist activist, Lucy Morgan, who has campaigned for women's and human rights and successfully rid her university of the 'tampon tax', also condemned the result.

She said: "The EU referendum has been entirely dominated by men, which is fitting as the impending ‘Brexit’ is going to hit women and non-binary people the hardest – particularly those who are also BAME (black, Asain and minority ethnic), disabled, LGBT+, and/or are on lower incomes.

"The EU provides masses of funding for strategies aimed at combating violence against women (such as the Daphne III EU funding program) and the fact that this country has voted to remove that kind of support is both horrifying and insulting."

Young male voters and students also expressed their despair.

Jake Mills, a university student from Harrogate, said: "The outcome of the referendum is nothing short of a betrayal of the young population of the country. Nearly 75% of under 25s wanted to remain and unlike Scotland we can't wave the anti-democratic flag and have another say.

"As a student leaving university with £50,000 worth of debt, looking for job prospects and looking to limp my way on the housing ladder; the instability that a leave vote brings is nothing short of unfair for a generation hit hardest by conservative austerity in recent years.

"People may age thrive on equality, unity and the prospects of travel and jobs abroad and the EU brought about these prospects as well as promoting world peace, environmentalism and multiculturalism."

Other university students from the town also called the decision a 'terrible' one, but some blamed it on a poorly run Remain campaign that left David Cameron with 'no choice but to resign'.

The same Channel 4 site had also found that of 1,000 surveyed university students, 70 per cent supported EU membership.

However there were some young voters in the district who were happy to see the decision to leave.

Another former Harrogate Grammar School student, Charles Connor, said: "We now have our democracy back to elect and sack the people who decide our laws. We can now have an Australian style points based system to fill the jobs we need without putting a strain on our public services.

"Cheap labour from other EU countries will not lower the working classes quality of life due to lower wages and higher competition. We can invest heavily in the NHS, we can prevent the further integration of the EU through an EU army, we can create a new trade deal with the EU while creating new trade deals with the rest of the world - something we couldn't do while part of the EU.

"We can be optimistic about the U.K.'s future being the 5th largest economy in the world and the financial centre of the world."