Young people: We can’t let Brexit divide us

A joint report from the Ombudsman for Children and his counterpart in the North has outlined the fears of young people on both sides of the border over Brexit.

The report, published today, gathers the views of 120 young people who came together for a conference in Newry last November, with a focus on the possible impact of Brexit on child protection, future freedom of movement, health, and education, among other issues.

It calls for a soft border once the UK leaves the EU and for the Good Friday Agreement to be protected.

The report also said that “ease of travel on public transport across the border must be maintained and data roaming charges should not be reintroduced between the two parts of the island.”

Key messages include that:

  • Brexit will impact on children and young people more than any other group, as they will live with the implications for longest;
  • We have come too far from the violence and divisions of the past. We don’t want to see regression to a hard border and conflict;
  • Protect all aspects of the Good Friday Agreement throughout the Brexit process and protect the right of young people in the North to consider ourselves British, Irish, or both;
  • Ensure that the EU/UK border on the island of Ireland is a soft border. Protect freedom of movement across the border.

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