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Denying vote to 16 and 17-year-olds is putting future of younger generation in hands of past

letter of the day: brexit fallout

THE current political system of Northern Ireland (and the rest of the United Kingdom) is not a fair representation of society, as it does not grant 16-year-olds the right to vote, whether it be in elections or referendums.

This should be changed and 16-year-olds should be given the right to vote in elections and have their voices heard, in particular in referendums that will decide our future, such as the Brexit referendum. The only government in the UK which fully respects its younger generation is the Scottish government.

Brexit will result in major changes to all aspects of life, in particular education, trade and immigration. These changes will have a most dramatic impact on the younger generation, as we will have to suffer through the uncertainty of what will happen next in our futures.

The decision, on June 23, 2016, to leave the European Union, was primarily due to the over-65 age range, of which 64% voted Leave.

This age category is not a true reflection of our nation, rather a reflection of our nation in the past.

To not give 16 to 17-year-olds the vote ignores the future of our country - the people that will have to live through the effects of Brexit - and, instead, puts our future in the hands of the past.

If 16 to 17-year-olds had the vote, then we would still be in the EU - given that polls showed 82% of this category would have voted Remain. The overriding argument for 16 to 17-year-olds not getting the vote is that they are not mature enough to make an informed decision about who to vote for, which is simply not true.

In Northern Ireland, the age of consent is 16, the legal working age is 16 and 16-year-olds can make a decision on their own education and futures.

If 16-year-olds are able to become full, working members of society and help to contribute to the economy, then they should be granted the right to vote in elections and referendums that will affect the society they are members of.

eoghan guthrie

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