Nicky Morgan fears for 'lost generation' if UK voters back Brexit


Quitting the European Union risks creating a "lost generation" that will be left in "limbo" while the UK struggles to negotiate new trade deals, the Education Secretary is to warn.

Nicky Morgan will make a direct appeal to parents and grandparents not to "gamble" with their youngsters' futures and tell them the "most unfair decision" they could make would be pushing the UK out of the 28-member bloc in the June 23 referendum.

Young people would "suffer the most" as jobs dry up amid economic uncertainty, she will claim.

In a speech in London, Ms Morgan will say: "It's clear that, if Britain leaves Europe, it will be young people who suffer the most, left in limbo while we struggle to find and then negotiate an alternative model. In doing so we risk that lost generation becoming a reality.

"And everyone who casts their vote must understand that.

"If parents and grandparents vote to leave, they'll be voting to gamble with their children and grandchildren's future.

"At a time when people are rightly concerned about intergenerational fairness the most unfair decision that the older generation could make would be to take Britain out of Europe and damage the ability of young people to get on in life."

Ms Morgan will point to claims by Adzuna, a search engine for job advertisements, that a drop in vacancies could be caused by employer fears about Brexit.

Young workers will pay the price as firms cut back on entry level jobs and experienced workers compete for posts, she will add.

Membership of the EU also offers young people "substantial" opportunities to study, work and travel freely.

"This is the generation of Instagram, easyJet and eBay," Ms Morgan will say.

"They don't want to see a Britain cut off from the world, where not only their opportunities, but our influence as a country, ends at our shores.

"These young people have grown up in a world where international co-operation, economic growth, technological advancements and social media, have seen barriers being torn down across the world.

"Young people today want to see the UK working internationally to tackle the big problems and issues that they care about because they want to make their world a better place.

"Whether it's sexual and gender equality, tackling poverty or protecting the environment and tackling climate change, the young people like those I often speak to at Loughborough University in my constituency, want to see the UK leading the fight against these global ills, and they know that our voice and impact are magnified by playing a leading role through the EU as part of a group of 28 nations."

She will add: "I want young people to make sure their voices are heard in this debate - whichever side of the debate they might be on - otherwise they risk having the decision made by other people, their future decided for them, not by them."

Vote Leave said young people were being saddled with the huge cost of Britain's membership of the EU.

Spokesman Robert Oxley said: "It is depressing that the Education Secretary is so willing to do down the chances of young people as part of Number 10's desperate bid to win the referendum.

"The EU has not been good for young people, driving up costs and forcing down wages while leaving a generation unemployed on the continent.

"Given the Government is still borrowing a fortune, it is future generations who are footing the bill for the £350 million we send to Brussels each week. The best thing we could do for current and future generations is to spend our money on our priorities."

It comes as United Nations figures revealed that all countries in the EU, apart from France, Spain and Luxembourg, have more of their population in the UK than the other way round, according to The Times. Around 2.9 million Europeans live in Britain while 1.2 million Britons have headed to the rest of the EU, it added.

Some 72,000 Britons have left Spain over the past two years, leaving around 308,000 officially in the country, while 7,000 have quit Italy, taking the number to 65,000, the data shows.