Wales will give children the opportunity to give their views on Brexit to help ministers better understand and represent the desires of young people in government, it has been revealed.
The decision by the Welsh Labour-run devolved government would see children between the ages of seven to 11 years old consulted on their views on Brexit. Children’s minister Huw Irranca-Davies said of the initiative: “The majority of the adult population of the UK who voted in the EU referendum in 2016 took a monumental decision that the UK should leave the EU,” he said.
“As a government, we accept that decision, and are doing all we can to ensure Wales and the rest of the UK gets the very best deal from it.
“However, our children are our future, so it’s absolutely vital we ensure their views and concerns are listened to.”
Although children do not have the right to vote in Britain, the Welsh government linked the consultation to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which says children have a right to say what they think and to have their opinions taken into account, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Under the plan, children will be asked about their opinions on Brexit at school and information from this will be used to form a Brexit advisory group of 12 children for the government. Workshops will be created to engage children in the Brexit process.
Farage Slams Osborne-Backed Plot to Overturn Brexit by Allowing 16-Year-Olds to Vote https://t.co/a8IxdAYGXP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 16, 2018
While Wales’ Labour government — led by Brexit ‘project fear’ scaremongerer Carwyn Jones who previously predicted that jobs would leave the country after the referendum — remains Eurosceptic the people of Wales, like their neighbours in England voted to leave the European Union.
Speaking to the BBC, Welsh Conservative MP Chris Davies said of the plan: “It is utter nonsense and smacks of yet another desperate tactic by Welsh Labour, who seem to want to do anything rather than carry out the will of the Welsh people – who voted to leave the EU.”
It is not clear to what extent the devolved administration of Wales could implement the policy preferences of children — given Britain’s foreign affairs including membership of the European Union are a competence of the national government at Westminster, not the Cardiff Senedd.
The move comes among increasing pressure from progressive campaigners to accept the opinion that children below the age of 18 are mature and worldly enough to make decisions on the future of their country, and therefore have the franchise extended below the age of 18.
The plans have been particularly popular among supporters of Scottish independence, and of Britain remaining in the European Union after research suggested that children could be more likely to vote for those causes.