Last weekend an estimated 670,000 people marched through the streets of London demanding a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal. At the front of the procession were young people and students, marching for their future and to be given the final say over their own destiny.
I was honoured to join the University of Bristol Student’s Union at the march, joining dozens of Bristol students who like me are anxious about their future. The greatest divide in our country today is generational. My generation, the young in this country, feel that we have been short changed by the previous generations. A banking system that was allowed to bloat and collapse the entire world economy that remains unfixed. The promise of one day owning your own home which is now for so many an impossible dream. Inaction on climate change which threatens the very future we will inhabit.
And, of course, Brexit. The theme of this march was a march for our future. Young people voted overwhelmingly for a different future to the one that the government is trying to force on them. The young are being betrayed with Brexit. One generation forcing a vision of the future that those who will inhabit that future simply do not want.
It was the Brexit vote that inspired me to stand up for my generation and the next, and I am proud to march with students and young people from across the country in demanding a people's vote.
Whilst I was inspired by the numbers of people who turned out in London, I was also angered and disappointed by those who didn’t. Labour know they have the support of a lot of young people and on Brexit it is clear they are taking them for granted.
I am perplexed as to why Bristol West’s MP Thangam Debbonaire who prides herself as a remainer and who represents a constituency which is disproportionately young will still not back a people’s vote. Her reasoning against has been weak and transparent, and every day that passes that she and her colleagues on the Labour front-bench don’t back a vote, the chance slips further out of reach.
The next stage of the People’s Vote campaign is to encourage people to write to their MPs and show the strength of the numbers who are demanding a final say on the Brexit deal. I will be continuing to work with Our Future, Our Choice and the Bristol SU to plead with Thangam to fight for those who voted for her and give the young the final say on their future.