Simon Danczuk MP

Fighting for Rochdale, Littleborough and Milnrow

Letter from Parliament 3 June

Parliament may have taken a break this week but there was certainly no let up from either the Leave or Remain camps as campaigning ahead of the European Union referendum entered its final stages.

Polling day on June 23 is fast approaching but there is another deadline looming that could prove to be almost as important.

This Tuesday, June 7, is the cut off point for voters to register to have their say over the UK’s membership of the EU.

Despite the blanket media coverage we have seen in recent weeks, there are still some who have yet to engage with this divisive issue.

According to figures from the Electoral Commission, there are more than 9,800 potential voters aged 18 to 24 living in Rochdale. Research suggests that they are over twice as likely to not be registered to vote as their older counterparts.

Make no mistake, this is one of the most important decisions that Britain has faced in decades. But many young people are running the risk of missing out on the chance to shape their own future.

It is absolutely vital that young people take part in this referendum, not least because they will have to live with the consequences of the vote.

Almost half of the UK’s exports (£227 billion worth of goods) go to the EU each year, creating opportunities for apprenticeships and careers in the manufacturing sector.

Even the most optimistic Brexiter will concede that leaving the EU will lead to a short term economic downturn, and there are no guarantees it would improve in the long term. When this happens, it will be young workers and the unemployed who will feel the pinch the hardest.

The Erasmus scheme and other projects allow young people to expand their horizons and learn new languages and cultures.

I firmly believe that a vote to Remain is the best possible result for the UK. But no matter what the outcome later this month, it is vital that this is a decision taken by everyone, not just a narrow section of society.

I therefore urge Rochdale residents, of all ages, to visit and register to vote before Tuesday so you can take part on June 23.

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