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Labour Pleads With Older People To Stay In The EU For The Sake Of Younger Generations

"Each generation wants the next to have a better future than they did. If we leave the EU, that aspiration withers and dies," Labour's shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Seema Malhotra, will warn.

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Labour will on Monday appeal to older voters to consider voting to stay in the European Union for the sake of children born in the 1990s, "who will live with the consequences of our decision".

In a clear sign the remain campaign wants to do more to target older voters, Labour's shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Seema Malhotra, will warn that younger generations will face an uncertain future if the UK votes to leave in June's referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.

A YouGov poll published at the beginning of March showed that older voters are far more likely to vote than under-25s.

Labour will also point to the UK's reputation for gaming, such as the Grand Theft Auto franchise, and the importance of the EU to this industry.

In a speech in Manchester, Malhotra will say the referendum will particularly affect young people. “Each generation wants the next to have a better future than they did," she will say. "If we leave the EU, that aspiration withers and dies.

“How do we ensure a prosperous and secure future for all our people – but especially for the young who will live with the consequences of our decision and who will be affected the most?

“For the sake of the generation born in the 1990s, now in their twenties, facing an uncertain future, we need to be part of a strong, prosperous Europe."

The Labour MP will argue that the majority of young people in the UK want to stay in the EU. This rings true, according to analysis of the same YouGov poll published on the LSE's politics and policy blog. The analysis showed that excluding people who have not yet decided how they will vote, three-quarters of 18- to 24-year-olds want Britain to remain in the EU.

Malhotra will point out that young people had a large role to play in convincing older generations to support equal marriage in Ireland's referendum in May last year.

Citing examples of how young people will be affected by the EU referendum, the Labour MP for Feltham and Heston will say "hundreds of thousands" of young people work in the growing digital industry, and that this benefits from the UK's membership of the EU.

She will point out that the hugely successful Grand Theft Auto franchise is developed by Rockstar North in Scotland, and that the mobile game Monument Valley, featured in the Netflix series House of Cards, was developed by a UK studio,

“Technology and science are key in driving our future economic growth," she will say. “We cannot stand still in an ever-changing world. Trade can flourish because there is a level playing field for businesses. Imagine you are an entrepreneur starting out.

“Where would you prefer to be based – somewhere with a single set of rules, or 27 separate bilateral agreements? We all hate waste. This burden of red tape could be overwhelming."

Malhotra will also stress that the EU is an important market for the digital industry – and that is particularly important because the UK is host to the largest number of developers across Europe.

“Ninety-five per cent of UK games companies sell products outside the UK," she will say. "The value of services exported by the creative industries in 2013 was £18 billion, more than half of it to the rest of the European Union.

“That’s the key market for future growth in the creative industries."

Vote Leave, which the Electoral Commission announced this week would lead the official Out campaign, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at

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