With rebellions to the left and Government chaos on the right, what little faith we had in the ability of Brexit negotiations to deliver for students is eroded. We need a #PeoplesVote.
In 2017, NUS launched its ‘Getting the Best from Brexit’ campaign with the stated aim of “attempting to influence the outcome of the negotiation process at a number of different levels” to “get the best from Brexit” for students. These objectves included:
1) To negotiate for special immigration status for EU and UK students and academics, to ensure that they remain able to move across the EU freely for work and study
2) To campaign for the UK to remain a full member of the Erasmus+ scheme and to secure a commitment from MPs that the UK will be a member of any similar schemes in the future.
3) To campaign to remove international students from net migration targets
For the first phase of the campaign, the goal was to “negotiate continued mobility within EU countries for students and academics, so that they can study and teach freely after the UK has left the EU. We have built relationships across the sector, with MPs across a number of political parties (Conservative, Labour, SNP) who have been in support of our campaign.Our public-facing campaign #StudentsOfTheWorld was launched in November 2017 and remains ongoing, and #NoToNoDeal, launched in July 2019, aims to avoid a no deal Brexit.
However, resignations have thrown the Brexit negotiations into chaos. It’s no wonder that students and young people have lost faith. It is now clear our generation deserves to have their voices heard in the final deal via a People's Vote.
We are clear in our belief that a #PeoplesVote doesn't "solve" the issues which led to the Brexit vote. Another referendum would be hugely divisive if not more so than the first in part, because the government would have failed to deliver on the "will of the people".
But if the best case scenario (EEA and Single Market Brexit) is half a million job losses, and the worst case scenario (No deal), 2 million job losses, we must be given the opportunity to make an infomred choice. It will be students, especially those from working class, ethnic minority backgrounds who will suffer most - many of whom were not even able to vote in 2016.
Ultimately, we need a guarantee from Westminster. Students are losing all faith in the process. We need to know that the future of students and young people in the UK is safe because if a good deal cannot be agreed, it’s our generation, and generations to follow, who will have the most to lose.
That’s why we are supporting a #PeoplesVote, and encourage others to Take Action and join us at the march in Central London on 19 October and to demand a say on the final deal.
Erica Ramos, NUS Vice President (Union Development) is will be speaking at the rally. Speeches start at 2pm at Parliament Square.
“NUS, in line with policy decided by our members, support a People’s Vote on any form of Brexit. It’s clear to us that the politicians have been unable to sort out this chaos, so the power must be given back to the people.
Many student leaders from different Students’ Unions across the UK have been organising and mobilising, and students will be marching on 19 October for a People’s Vote. We know that young people will have to deal with the consequences of Brexit for the longest, so it’s crucial that our voices are heard in this debate. I’m proud to be speaking at the rally on Saturday, and I encourage you to join us. We’ll be assembling from 12pm at Park Lane, to march together for a final say.”
Listen to For our Future’s Sake podcast with Erica - ‘Another Brexit Podcast’.