Brexit voters comprehensively shafted the young

Older people who voted for Brexit have ‘comprehensively shafted the young’.

That’s the view of Sir Vince Cable, writing for the Mail on Sunday this weekend. He accuses over-65s of being ‘self-declared martyrs’ who claim leaving the EU is worth the cost.

‘The old have comprehensively shafted the young’… ‘And the old have had the last word about Brexit, imposing a world view coloured by nostalgia for an imperial past on a younger generation much more comfortable with modern Europe.’

The newly-elected Liberal Democrat party leader warned that describing such ‘masochism’ as martyrdom was ‘dangerous’.

Sir Vince’s article followed the recent YouGov poll that showing a high proportion of Leave voters considered significant damage to the British economy to be a price worth paying for bringing Britain out of the EU.


When broken down by age, the older voters were much more likely to hold the view that significant damage to the British economy to be a price worth paying for bringing Britain out of the EU. In addition, older voters were more likely to hold the view that causing them or member of their families to lose their job would be a price worth paying for bringing Britain out of the EU.

The Lib Dem leader added ‘The martyrdom of the old comes cheap,’ as fewer have jobs to lose and living standards are protected by the triple lock on pensions.

He also added that ‘Brexit will have serious consequences: banks taking their jobs to the Continent; lengthening queues to cross national frontiers; rumblings in the dormant volcano of Ireland.’

He pointed out that austerity measures had largely affected the working population, with pensioners suffering ‘relatively little’ after the financial crisis. He was ‘struck by the heavily Remain sentiment in colleges and schools, and the heavily Brexit mood of church-hall meetings packed with retired people’.

Sir Vince added that young people already have the added problems of ‘prohibitive housing costs, growing job insecurity and limited career progression’.

‘The Remain argument about economic damage is now largely accepted. Mounting evidence of a slowing economy and rising inflation give substance to earlier warnings.’

Reinforced by the rise in Brexit related hate crime, infamous pro-Brexit newspaper headlines such as the Daily Mail’s ‘Enemies of the State’ and ‘Saboteurs’, and fervent Brexiteers like Nigel Farage, warning of civil unrest if the ‘will of the people’ is frustrated’. The leader warned of the undercurrent of violence in the language used by Brexiteers, coining the phrase ‘Brexit jihadis’.

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5 Responses

  1. Kevin B

    Those pesky old people – dying for our freedoms in the war, living through rationinng for years afterwards, rebuilding the country that we are now lucky enough to call home. Who do they think they are!

    And as for them imagining, for an instant, that their decades of additional life experience might mean they actually have some wisdom to impart, well, obviously they deserve nothing but our contempt. How can we get them to die quickly and have a second referendum once they’re in the ground?

    1. Mark A

      What war? You do know the 2nd world war ended 70 years ago don’t you? Anyone joining the forces at the age of 17 in 1945 would now be nearly 90.
      Research has also shown that the few that are still around that fought in that conflict voted remain for the most part; given that they saw, first hand what a divided Europe looks like.

      The only thing the baby boomers who voted brexit have had to deal with is a couple of massive house price increases and free university education. Age doesn’t make you wise if you left school with no qualifications at the age of 14 and get all your opinions fed to you by the Daily Mail.

    2. Frank

      The ones that fought in the wars are mostly dead. It’s the generation afterwards, you know the ones that never had it so good.

  2. the blame game is nasty. there’s positives and negatives about staying in and staying out. the blame for me is that the referendum and all its pros and cons were not explored by Cameron and his ‘experts’ . What would have been a good thing was to have laid out the truths about the pros and cons before the voting.
    It would now be the better idea to have another referrendum now that we know that those who presented the idea didn’t know what they were doing. The issue has been going on for the last few decades so this isn’t a new discussion at all.l Vince Cable would be better off sticking to the Lib Dem idea which was to have another referendum now that the Politicians have more of a clue what leaving and staying means and then they could put out the information clearly.

  3. The Sheriff

    Less than 40% of young people bothered to vote in the referendum, compared to 90% of over 65s. If young people had bothered to vote they wouldn’t have been ‘shafted’.

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