YEM UK Press Release – June 8th Snap Election:
Today we learned in a announcement from Theresa May that the UK will undergo a snap General Election on Thursday 8th June 2017. First of all, we should highlight that like many we were taken by surprise by the announcement. The more so because the Prime Minister’s announcement of an election deviates from a consistently held principle of hers that it would be disruptive for the country as it faces up to what are possibly the most significant constitutional challenges it has ever exposed itself to.
We are also critical of the timing of this election. Firstly, we are concerned that discussions, debates, and campaigns over the elections to take place on May 4th will now be relegated to obscurity and people will not necessarily vote for candidates best suited to their local needs. Secondly, to have two elections just over a month apart is an unnecessarily costly exercise.
That being said, we are under no illusions that this election, as everything in British politics these days, will be about ‘Europe’ and so we welcome the chance to speak loud and proud in support of our convictions. What little we have seen of the Brexit process so far has been a catastrophic mess. The large swathe of sensible arguments that were dismissed as Project Fear are now starting to be borne out. More importantly, those of us who feel Europe in our hearts have woken up to what we are about to lose, and so the fight is stronger in our camp than it perhaps was before June 23 2016. It is still too early to outline YEM’s plans fully vis-à-vis this election, notably as the anniversary of the referendum will be not long after. However, we can say for sure that we will continue to collaborate with all pro-European groups out there to support the election of those candidates, regardless of party colour, who have our values to heart.
YEM has always been and remains an organisation that is cross-party, trans-party, all-party, and no-party. In our membership we include voters from every party (possibly excluding what is left of UKIP) and of course from no party. As such we will not tell people a colour or a name to pick on our election days, but we will leave you with three pieces of advice.
- Register to vote. For those in YEM over the age of 18, we have a duty to make our voices heard on behalf of the 16 and 17 year olds who will most likely be denied suffrage – again!
- Fully engage with all your candidates for June 8th. Write to them, ask them questions at events. Vote for the candidate, regardless of party, that has Europe closest to their heart and is most willing to fight for it. We have so far seen a lack of bravery in our elected members since last year. This election is a chance to embolden them and to begin to turn that around.
- Do not forget the May 4th elections! All elections matter, we cannot emphasise this enough. From the bottom to the top, Europe has inflected our political discourse, we should take that into account with our voting behaviour but more than ever we should be doing our best to ensure all our elected representatives are competent, and held to account.
These are interesting times, and challenging times. The months ahead, regardless of this election result, are not going to be easy. However, strong arguments and stronger convictions can and will win the day – take fresh heart YEMers and engage!
If you are not yet a member of the UK’s oldest and largest pro-EU youth organisation, why not join us today? Make the change you want to see in the world!