On Wednesday, Femi Oluwole, of the political pressure group Our Future Our Choice, came to talk to Year 11-13 about the intricacies of Brexit and the need for a young voice in today's political climate.
Femi detailed his own political journey, starting with working at an NGO in Brussels on human rights abuses in foreign countries, and then how he became more interested in, and worked closer with, European Law and the European Commission. He applied his vast knowledge of European law to the Brexit debate and answered many of our questions about the current trajectory of our relationship with the EU. Some questions included: 'How much of the vote do you think can be attributed to xenophobia and racism?', 'Would the second referendum help quell uncertainty and division in the country?' and 'What is the probability of a second referendum and how would it arise?'
What struck us most about his answers was that not only did he state his opinion thoroughly and eloquently, he also used evidence and reason to support his arguments. In current political debate there is a tendency to disregard the other side's opinion without trying to understand where they come from. It was refreshing to listen to Femi at least attempting to understand the nuances and reasoning of opinions from both sides of the debate. Ultimately, although the future of Brexit can seem uncertain, Femi highlighted a view of hope and the need for youth engagement for the country's future. We have already invited potential speakers from the other side of the debate, and hope to hear from them soon!
Shaina, Estelle and Gaby, Year 13