Sixth Formers at saltash.net community school, along with several interested members of staff, were this week encouraged to register and use their vote in the EU referendum on 23rd June.
The plea to use their vote followed an interesting and wide-ranging debate between representatives of both the ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ camps, as part of the school Year 13 General Studies programme.
David Chalmers, who is Northern Devon Campaign Co-ordinator for StrongerIN as well as a Regional Officer of the Lib Dems, spoke in favour of the UK remaining in the EU, stressed the economic arguments for remaining and argued that Britain was more globally influential as a member of the EU.
In response, David Lucas, speaking in favour of the UK leaving the EU, emphasised the importance of the UK taking controls of its own laws, as well as the direct and indirect costs of the UK’s EU membership. Lucas is currently County Chairman of UKIP, and is a former RAF fighter pilot and staff officer in NATO and the Ministry of Defence.
Following their introductory remarks, both speakers took questions from the audience covering a wide ranging of issues including defence, trade, human rights, the impact on Cornwall, the implications for students, and the EU’s long term plans.
After the speakers had concluded their arguments Head of Sixth Form Adam Killeya encouraged all students to use their vote, regardless of whether it was to remain or to leave, and to register to vote if they had not already done so using https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Summing up the debate Mr Killeya said, “We had a high quality and very civilised debate with both speakers doing a strong job of making their case. saltash.net strongly believes that part of our job is to prepare students for their future as citizens and this referendum, whatever the result, will have a massive impact on that.”
Sixth Form student Georgina Curtis who will be 18 just before the vote said “I went in to the debate with an open mind and it was good to hear both sides of the issue. I will definitely be using my vote on the 23rd June”.