Former Labour Leader, Ed Miliband today give a speech in London to warn that the referendum outcome is in doubt because millions of young people are missing from the electoral roll.
Issuing a call to arms to young people to get registered for the EU referendum, he will say it is their progressive optimistic generation who can keep Britain in Europe.
He will urge young people not to put their future in the hands of the Leave campaigns who claim to support working people but would get rid of their rights at work, and who pretend to be optimists but instead peddle division.
He warns that unless young people make their voice heard, the EU referendum could be won by the Leave campaign, whose hopes of victory now hang on low registration and low turn-out among young people.
The former Labour leader will point out how young people from Britain relish the freedoms of studying, working and living across the EU – and know we can’t tackle issues like climate change, tax avoidance and terrorism on our own.
At a Britain Stronger in Europe event tomorrow, alongside young people of different political parties backing the Remain campaign, he will contrast the optimism of Britain’s young voters with the pessimism of a Leave campaign.
On the risk to young people of not voting, he will say:
Today is a call to arms to all young people to register to vote. There are 6 million 18-24 year-olds eligible to vote, but 1.5 million not registered. And 8 million 25-34 year-olds eligible, but 2 million not registered.
Let’s be clear about the danger: a decision not to vote is a decision to let someone else decide your future.
Young people can decide this referendum. If they don’t use their vote, the danger is this referendum will be lost.
Young people are the progressive, optimistic generation. But their voice must be heard in this referendum if Remain is to win – and they are to give themselves a better chance of a better future.
It’s vital for them, for us and our country we vote Remain. But there’s no point relying on older generations to do it for you. No. We’re relying on you. I’m counting on your vote for a hopeful future.
On the real agenda of the Leave campaigners, he will say:
Look at the case being advanced by the Leave campaign: a narrow-minded, divisive, pessimistic set of arguments. Let’s be clear about the real agenda of those who would have us Leave.
They are the people who are suspicious of every other EU country’s motives, who see difference as a threat and diversity as a danger; the people who want us to turn our backs on the world, who deny the science of climate change, the people who dismiss the social progress brought by the EU as burdens on business.
I urge young people not to put their future in the hands of people who pose as progressive but would seek to turn the clock back, who claim to support working people but would get rid of their rights at work, who pretend to be optimists but who peddle division.
Young people, this great generation of optimists, are seeing their futures being gambled with - their future jobs, their opportunities to travel and study, their living costs in later life.
When the Leave campaign is asked about the future - future jobs, future opportunities, future growth – they have one answer: they just don’t know.
Those words should ring in the ears of every child, student and parent. Not knowing is not a path to prosperity, not knowing is the road to recession.
Think about what happens is we lose this referendum: lost jobs, opportunities, a whole generation losing out.
Be in no doubt: if young people don’t exercise their vote, this referendum will be lost and so will many of their futures.
If young people don’t want the Leave campaign to narrow the horizons of the world that they will live in, it is vital that young people register and vote.
This is, in the end, about the character of our country. Do we work with others or on our own? Do we join hands across nations or do we hunker down? Do we build bridges or do we build walls?
This is the question being confronted round the world. And the answer, I believe, from this generation is that Britain should join hands, build bridges, and work with others.
On why older voters should heed the young, he will say:
We often talk about the wisdom of the old. But, in this campaign, I say we should heed the wisdom of the young. Listen to your son and daughter, grandson and granddaughter.
As you think about your vote, think about their future and what they are telling you. Because young people will have to live with this decision for longer than the rest of us. Because young people need the country to change to make things better for them.
We should all sit up and take notice that young people are telling us that the best way to get the change they want is by staying in Europe. The optimistic choice in this referendum is for remain, not leave.
Their appeal today, my appeal today, is about the positive case for Remain, the positive choice we urge young people to make: a choice about the future you want, not the future you fear the most.
Our case is this: Remain is the best way, the only way we expand the opportunities for young people and the tackle the overwhelming challenges their generation faces. My big ask today to young people today is for you to talk to older people.
Talk to your parents, your grandparents, your aunts, your uncles and your neighbours. Tell them to think about their vote. Think about your future.