Brexit in spotlight at Leeds City College EU referendum debate

THE pros and cons of Brexit will be discussed during an EU referendum debate at Leeds City College which is designed encourage more young people to vote.

Leeds Central Labour MP Hilary Benn will speak at the debate
Leeds Central Labour MP Hilary Benn will speak at the debate

More than 100 students are expected to take part in the debate on May 6, along with Leeds Central MP Hilary Benn and Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies.

Students from Leeds City College, nearby sixth form students and a delegation from the Leeds Youth Parliament will form the audience and bring along pre-prepared questions to quiz the MPs on.

College chiefs hope that raising the profile of the referendum will encourage more young people to vote on June 23 and in future elections.

Rebecca Hughes, employability and skills Officer at Leeds City College, said: “It’s an opportunity for students to understand the importance of democracy and having a say in what could influence their future.

“The MPs will give their views and perspectives on the ‘remain’ and ‘leave’ sides of the argument which will allow students to make an informed decision on the day and increase their knowledge of general politics.”

Also speaking at the event will be Paul Blackledge, professor of political theory at Leeds Beckett University and Gerald Jennings, president of Leeds Chamber of Commerce. Emily Chapman, students’ union president at Leeds City College, said: “This is a great opportunity for our students to play a part in what could be a significant day in UK political history. This EU Referendum will affect the current generation more than most so it’s important to educate them on politics now more than ever.

- Outgoing Mayor of London Boris Johnson, a leading member of the Vote Leave campaign, was due to speak in Leeds today.