It has been a devastating shock for the young people living in Britain, arguably a group who will experience the brunt of a UK withdrawal from Europe

 

Europe was expected to react in many forms today; economically with the markets, politically from the EU’s base in Brussels and in the future literately. Recently received today however, was a press release from The European Youth Forum, an organisation that ‘represents over 100 National Youth Councils across the European Continent’.

François Balate, Governance Officer of the Youth Organisation, said in the press release that by leaving the EU Britain, ‘may block its young people from … advantages such as the freedom to work, study and volunteer around Europe‘. Indeed, it is uncertain whether such student-orientated European programmes run by UK universities as the ERASMUS Programme will survive following Britain’s official departure from the EU in the next two years.

In fact the press release, while disappointed with the United Kingdom, also deposited some of the blame on the EU itself, arguing how ‘Misinformation on the EU and its actions [was] feeding populism … playing on people’s fears’.

Furthermore it was added, ‘Economic woes and social disparity… hit young people the hardest … leading to disillusionment with politics’.

In this sense the European Youth Forum is accepting that the youth of Britain had just reason to be concerned with the state of politics in Europe, given the proportion of policies negatively affecting the European youth in 2016. Balate also gave a further warning to the countries still within the European Union, arguing that they must not ‘punish British citizens … as young people were largely in favour of the UK remaining a member of the EU’. He added that the EU must resist the temptation to cool relations with the UK.

Yet Balate does not give a wholly reassuring picture for the youth of the United Kingdom as our country begins the process of leaving, stating simply that ‘In today’s world, there is no benefit to isolation’. It is then with this perspective in mind that the newly ‘free’ United Kingdom moves into, for now at least, a state of intensely observed isolationism as it begins to adapt to a world where it stands, according to Nigel Farage, on its  own terms.