Children in Wales asked about Brexit

19 March 2018, 12:55

Welsh flag brexit graphic

Children in Wales aged as young as seven will get the chance to have their say on the Brexit process.

A consultation is being launched to help ministers understand the views of the younger generation and make sure they are represented in the Welsh Government's discussions and decisions about Wales' future once the UK leaves the EU.

Announcing the plans, Wales' Minister for Children Huw Irranca-Davies said Brexit would bring about some of the biggest changes children and young people would face in their adult lives, so he was looking forward to hearing their views - and ensuring they were acted on.

"The majority of the adult population of the UK who voted in the EU referendum in 2016 took a monumental decision that the UK should leave the EU," he said.

"As a government, we accept that decision, and are doing all we can to ensure Wales and the rest of the UK gets the very best deal from it.

"However, our children are our future, so it's absolutely vital we ensure their views and concerns are listened to."

Children aged between seven and 11 will be asked for their opinions in school with their teachers and support staff present, while youngsters aged over 11 will be consulted through the Welsh Government's youth voice project, Young Wales.

The consultation, which will be voluntary, will also involve the establishment of a Brexit Advisory Group of 12 young people from across Wales, and digital and social media resources to help keep children and young people informed during the Brexit process.

In addition, 15 young people will be helped to deliver 25 workshops in a bid to engage more than 600 of their peers.

A report on the outcome of the consultation will be delivered to the Welsh Government in the autumn.

The Welsh Government said it was committed to the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which says children have a right to say what they think when adults are making decisions that affect them and to have their opinions taken into account.

Chief executive of Children in Wales Catriona Williams OBE said the Young Wales programme helped to increase the participation of children and young people in influencing the development of Welsh Government policies.

She said: "We know from them that they are really keen to have their views heard at this critical time in relation to negotiations over Brexit as it will be their futures which will be particularly affected."