While the EU referendum, which has ultimately resulted in Great Britain voting to leave the European Union, has been a bitterly divisive fight, nothing has separated the Remain and Leave camps quite so distinctly as the age of the voters, according to Buzzfeed. Around 75% of young people aged 18 to 24 overwhelmingly voted to Remain, compared to only 39% older voters over 65.
So all the old people gave us a future we didn’t want. You’ve all had your careers, why screw it up for us pic.twitter.com/KDyAYU5OKD
— Asa Butterfield (@asabfb) June 24, 2016
Nearly two-thirds of over-60 voters voted to Leave the European Union, while those under 49 were more likely to vote to Remain. Given that the Leave vote triumphed only by a measly 51.9% to Remain’s 48.1%, this demographic almost certainly tipped the scales in the Brexit campaign’s favor.
This has triggered a furious outcry from young people on Twitter, who are outraged that their futures will likely not have the economic opportunities and freedoms that these same older voters ironically enjoyed all their lives thanks to their membership in the EU.
Old dudes deciding the future of young people is so FUN
— Emma Gannon (@girllostincity) June 24, 2016
— Martina (@Martina_AMW) June 24, 2016
#EUref what have we done congratulations old people you've fucked up our future
— Kate (@katee_mcg) June 24, 2016
Majority of young people have voted stay.. but old people with their lives sorted already have decided our future ????????
— Hobbie Stuart (@HobbieStuart) June 24, 2016
I swear old people are meant to give you werthers originals and knitted jumpers and not economic instability and widespread unemployment.
— Ryan Synnott (@RyanSynnott95) June 24, 2016
Many voters were especially frustrated by the fact that young, teenage citizens were unable to have a say in this vote despite the fact that they will be living with the consequences of Brexit much longer than these older voters.
Feel like we've let the youth of today down. It's the children that will be affected by the changes – Yet they're not allowed to vote????#EUref
— Stooshe (@Stooshe) June 24, 2016
It is unacceptable that over 65's were allowed a say in the future of our generation yet 16 and 17 year old's weren't #EUref
— Holly Richardson (@holllyyr) June 24, 2016
Some took a more level-headed approach, criticizing the us-vs-them mentality that young people are expressing towards the older generation, comparing it to the racist anti-immigration sentiments that fueled the Brexit campaign to begin with.
If your response is "Bloody old people" or sniping at lower socioeconomic classes, you fed into the sentiment that brought us here.
— Dawn Foster (@DawnHFoster) June 24, 2016
Britain’s task now is to try to soften the blow that will be felt by the younger generation. The Brexit begins with the invoking of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which will begin a negotiation process lasting up to two years that will set the terms under which Britain will leave the EU.
The past just voted against the future.
— Adrian Monck (@amonck) June 24, 2016
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW