Stephen Williams, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Bristol West, has urged Theresa May to “think again” after she ruled out giving 16-year-olds the vote on Sunday’s Westminster Hour.
In 2013 Stephen Williams successfully passed a motionin Parliament calling for MPs to support a proposal to lower the voting age in all UK elections to 16.
The Liberal Democrats set a precedent for lowering the voting age after the party secured the right of 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014.
Stephen Williams said:
“Liberal Democrats have always fought for doing politics differently and giving the right to vote to sixteen and seventeen year olds has widespread support across the political spectrum. British citizens aged sixteen can already vote in some elections and their counterparts can do so in some of the world’s largest democracies.There is no reason to deny 16 and 17-year olds the right to vote in this election. They are subject to all the laws of the land and pay taxes just like the rest of us.
"Theresa May is robbing young people of future opportunities through her damaging hard Brexit agenda. It's no surprise she is now refusing to give 16 and 17-year-olds the vote. She should think again about attempting to silence the very people who have an even greater stake in the future than those 18 and above.
“The Tories continues to discriminate based on where you live; young people in Scotland were given a vote on their future yet their Welsh and English counterparts are denied the same rights to express their feelings over the government’s hard Brexit agenda. Young people deserve a say over what happens next.
"The Liberal Democrats believe everyone, including 16 and 17-year-olds, should have the final say on Brexit with the option to stay in if they don't like the deal on offer."