On Tuesday, the education secretary will say: “It’s clear that if Britain leaves Europe it will be young people who suffer the most, left in limbo while we struggle to find and then negotiate an alternative model.” She will call on young people to urge their parents and grandparents to vote in. “If parents and grandparents vote to leave, they’ll be voting to gamble with their children and grandchildren’s future.”
Morgan, in a speech at Fashion Retail Academy – a specialist vocational college in London – will highlight the fact that while young people are more likely to want Britain to remain in the EU, they are also less likely to actually go out and vote, while older people who back Brexit will be more motivated. “I want young people to make sure their voices are heard in this debate – whichever side of the debate they might be on – otherwise they risk having the decision made by other people, their future decided for them, not by them.
“Elections are decided by the people who turn up,” she will add, in what will be interpreted as a warning that the remain camp could lose if it fails to mobilise its vote. She will tell younger voters to “make the case” to older friends and relatives, arguing that the younger generation is more progressive. “This is the generation of Instagram, easyJet and eBay,” she is to say. “They don’t want to see a Britain cut off from the world.”
Young workers will pay the price as firms cut back on entry-level jobs and experienced workers compete for posts, she will add.
“These young people have grown up in a world where international cooperation, economic growth, technological advancements and social media have seen barriers being torn down across the world. Young people today want to see the UK working internationally to tackle the big problems and issues that they care about because they want to make their world a better place.
“Whether it’s sexual and gender equality, tackling poverty or protecting the environment and tackling climate change, the young people like those I often speak to at Loughborough University in my constituency want to see the UK leading the fight against these global ills, and they know that our voice and impact are magnified by playing a leading role through the EU as part of a group of 28 nations.”
In response, Vote Leave said young people were being saddled with the huge cost of Britain’s membership of the EU.
Spokesman Robert Oxley said: “It is depressing that the education secretary is so willing to do down the chances of young people as part of Number 10’s desperate bid to win the referendum. The EU has not been good for young people, driving up costs and forcing down wages while leaving a generation unemployed on the continent. Given the government is still borrowing a fortune, it is future generations who are footing the bill for the £350m we send to Brussels each week. The best thing we could do for current and future generations is to spend our money on our priorities.”
Morgan’s intervention comes after research by Lynton Crosby – David Cameron’s chief strategist in last year’s election – showed how important factors such as age and turnout will be to the outcome of the referendum. He argued that immigration was an issue that was likely to motivate undecided people, who are Eurosceptic, to vote for out.
This article was written by Anushka Asthana, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 29th March 2016 07.57 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010