Older generations have inflicted a heavy burden on the young with yesterday's result, says Andy Clarke.

I had started out as a Leave supporter following Michael Gove's article in The Spectator, which I still think was written with great skill and a genuine belief in its content.

However, as I researched the matters, I found the EU frequently receives the blame for many issues that are beyond its control, and actually a matter for national governments. My main motivation for voting to remain was that the economic arguments for leaving had failed to convince me, and I have always been a fan of the free movement of people.

Clearly, therefore, I am disappointed. Especially given that I feel referenda leave our politicians with little in the way of duties. It is akin to a parent nominating their child to teach their own class rather than the teacher. It was a naïve promise to make by David Cameron, who relied too much on the advice of pollsters.

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However, my biggest disappointment is for the younger generation, who overwhelmingly supported remain. They have lost the right to live and work in 27 other countries. While I never took advantage of the free movement of people, other than a couple of holidays to France or Germany, it was always an opportunity that I will now never be able to take. This was an opportunity that has been taken away by the older generation, who their youngsters have paid for throughout the last ten years. As austerity took hold, it was the pensioners who saw their benefits protected, while youngsters saw cuts to Children's Services, tripling of tuition fees and a housing boom that makes living in central London virtually impossible.

On average, the youngsters who voted remain have 63 more years to live, whereas the oldest group have more like 14-16. They are a generation that sometimes scoffed at intellectualism, leading some down the path of bigotry. While it would be wrong to suggest all Brexiters are racists, it is much more accurate to suggest all racists are Brexiters.

It is of no surprise that London voted to stay, and I am pleased that my borough overwhelmingly did so. On a street where you can watch Kevin Spacey in a play one minute, while thinking about the Lebanese food you will have the next, washed down with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon served by a Polish barman, Lambeth has reaped the benefits of diversity and inclusion. This was delivered partly by the EU.

I was also pleased to see Liverpool voted to remain ? a city which saw Objective One funding for Queen Square and the ECHO Arena, with £3m for St George's Hall, and £285m of the European Social Fund. This is a city that understood that figures of the EU costing £350m a week were simply nonsense. It is one that saw Nigel Farage and ran before he reneged on his promise of £350m for the NHS.

Going forward, my main warning would not be about the EU, but about who the Conservative Party members elect as our next Prime Minister.

3 votes

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