The UK Parliament will vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal on January 15th, but virtually no one thinks it will be ratified. Meaning the chaos that is Brexit will continue on with no end in sight.
One youth movement believes there is a solution to end the parliamentary gridlock: let the public have the final say in a second referendum on Britain’s membership in the European Union.
Outspoken youth movement Our Future, Our Choice (OFOC) formed in late-2017 to represent the interests of young people across Britain who voted overwhelming to stay in Europe. They argue that the young will have to live with the negative economic impacts of a Brexit they didn’t even want.
OFOC co-founder Will Dry, who voted to leave the EU in 2016 but has since radically changed his position, now feels a sense of responsibility for making Brexit a reality.
“I won the first referendum, my side won,” he told VICE News. ‘I’ve only changed my mind because I think the options have become so clear and that you can’t get a better deal than the one we’ve already got. We don’t want the Prime Minister’s deal and we don’t want the chaos of no deal.”
The group uses stunts, campaigns and social media to get their message out. They’ve demonstrated their opposition to Brexit by holding a public funeral for it, destroyed May’s withdrawal agreement with a blow torch in Brussels and schooled right-wingers on how EU law can be applied to limit immigration.
Much of their most successful campaigns are created by their chief spokesperson Femi Oluwole, who argues that Britain is no longer the same country that voted for Brexit in 2016.
“Before Brexit is anywhere near completed in 2021, we will have a population that would of voted against it,” he said.
InFacts.org, a journalistic endeavor whose mission statement declares that it is “making the fact-based case for Britain to remain in the EU,” estimates that since 2016 there are now 1.4 million more young people of voting age. OFOC believes many of those young voters would favor a remain vote in a second referendum.
“In my year at school, the whole cohort wasn’t old enough to vote,” said the group’s Head of Projects, Dominic Brind. “The day after the vote I hadn’t slept at all. Most people were looking slightly surprised, angry, confused and annoyed they hadn’t had their say.”
This segment originally aired January 9, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.