Britain is about to vote in a ‘once-in-a-generation’ referendum that will decide the future of our membership of the European Union. Strode’s College took this unique opportunity to showcase democracy by creating our own EU debate, complete with local parliamentary candidates.
The lively podium debate was chaired by Strode’s law teacher, Duncan Bunce and was attended by “in” candidates John Vincent (former Liberal Democrat Candidate for Runnymede and Weybridge), Justin Champion (Professor of History, Royal Holloway University London) and James Griffiths (Politics Student), whilst the “out” candidates were Theo Berry (Politics Student), Diane James (UKIP MEP for the South East) and Kwasi Kwarteng, (Conservative MP for Spelthorne).
Over 300 Strode’s students and staff listened to both sides and in true democratic style each candidate was given three minutes to make opening and closing remarks before the floor was open to questions. Students were then given the opportunity to question and challenge the candidate’s arguments. Issues covered included position of young people, the position of Scotland, the economy, democracy and workers’ rights.
The open debate allowed the students, some of whom will be voting for the first time as part of the UK electorate, the opportunity to take part in and hear the different sides of the arguments on whether to stay in or leave the European Union. We hope the debate has gone some way to helping them decide what they believe is the right path for our country.
Final outcome from our own EU debate was 67% voted to stay in against 33% to leave the EU.