The policy, which was submitted for consideration by current Student Activities Officer Finn Judge, would see YUSU commit to advancing the People’s Vote campaign, which advocates for a second vote on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations. The YUSU referendum will take place during spring term.
In the policy proposal, Judge suggested that YUSU should “dedicate resources, within sound financial reason, towards students taking political action in favour of a vote on the final Brexit deal.” He added: ” bureaucratic red tape should not prevent YUSU from representing its members on such a vital issue.”
Policies were submitted to the PRG which met today at midday to discuss proposals based on student consultations. The PRG, headed by Policy Coordinator Josh Mackenzie, said in a press release: “Proposal to be sent to a campus-wide referendum, with the referendum process beginning with the selection of campaign leaders in Week 2 of Spring Term.”
The YUSU referendum is to decide whether to support the proposed second EU referendum, which could overturn the first EU referendum which occurred in 2016. The first EU referendum which occurred in 2016 itself overturned a referendum on membership of the then-EEC, which occurred in 1975 after the UK officially joined the Common Market in 1973.
Finn Judge spoke to Nouse upon news of the decision and said: “I’m delighted that York students will be given a platform to debate this vital issue for higher education. Whether we vote in favour of the motion or not, today’s politics demand total engagement and mobilisation – that is why I welcome the refefendum.”
The York Tories spoke to Nouse in response to the news and said: “We are surprised to hear that Finn Judge is seeking a mandate to use YUSU money, time, staff and resources in supporting a second EU membership referendum. In our opinion YUSU has higher priorities than a divisive political campaign that ultimately make the current political climate even more polarised. YUSU should always remain politically neutral. This is a waste of time, money and resources.”
The University of York Liberal Democrats, who campaign to stop Brexit, also commented to Nouse: “University of York Liberal Democrats welcome the decision by the PRG to hold a YUSU referendum on adopting a policy of support for a People’s Vote. This is a cause that has been supported by the Liberal Democrats, both nationally and on campus – it’s great to see so many others rallying behind a policy we’ve supported since Day 1.”
Nouse has approached other political parties on campus for comment.