A referendum on whether YUSU should support a people’s vote on Brexit with an option to Remain was held in January. A cross-party group of students assembled to support a people’s vote on Brexit, placing aside political differences to unite behind this positive, pragmatic message. The resulting wave of support for this cause was reflected in 62% of voters firmly endorsing a final say on our future.
2019 so far has been defined by the failings of this Government on Brexit. Delayed votes in Parliament, ineffective negotiations with the EU and some of the most underprepared government departments ever witnessed are only the start. The Government has so far been unable to negotiate a Brexit deal that satisfies the divided House of Commons and this only jeopardises Britain’s future further, as the calamitous prospect of a no-deal Brexit looms.
As students, we expect more constructive leadership from our elected leaders. We want a solution to this messy, protracted saga because our futures are the futures most at risk. Our University is enriched by EU citizens sharing their skills, experience and passion with us as teachers, as friends, as partners, and more, whose livelihoods have been rocked by uncertainty over Brexit and for whom departing the UK is now a genuine, saddening possibility. Our futures are brightened by European prospects through collaborations built upon shared values of tolerance, ambition and peace, embodied in over £10 million in EU grants received annually by the University of York. Loss of EU research networks not only damages the quality of research but also closes off avenues for recruiting talented minds to the total detriment of the work carried out at the University of York and across British universities. A no-deal Brexit scenario runs the risk of a lost generation, whose opportunities have been denied by those supposed to be leading.
So many strategies have been shut down thus far and time truly is running out. The only fair, democratic option left is a people’s vote on Brexit with an option to Remain. This has the clear backing of University of York students whose futures are at stake. We demand that our voices be heard in this debate.
Local groups across the country are organising coaches to the march on Saturday 23rd March - check out the details.
Finn Judge, Monta Drozdova, Robin Brabham