Westminster students are divided and “confused” but believe their chosen parties will stick to their Brexit pledges.
Brexit legislation is on hold while the UK votes in this year’s general election.
The Conservative party, under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s leadership, wants to leave the European Union (EU) with its most recent revised deal.
Mr Johnson has been pushing to “get Brexit done” and has previously promised to leave the union, on 31 October 2019 as “do or die”.
Government’s attempt to get a new deal through Parliament, was frustrated after members of parliament failed to approve the deal, thus forcing the Prime Minister to ask for an extension of the deadline to the EU.
Divisions over Brexit has remained high in the Conservative party, even after Mr Johnson managed to secure a change on the deal made by former Prime Minister, Theresa May, on the Irish backstop and replacing it with a new customs arrangement.
Differences on the Brexit issue were heightened when 21 party MPs were expelled from the party for refusing to comply with government’s policies.
Labour instead, wants to renegotiate a new deal and put it to public vote with a second referendum.
Karen Stanley, a BA History student from the UK said:” Referendum stated that we were going to leave, and if we don’t leave, then it would be the first time in history, an UK government hasn’t listened to people. Everyone voted to leave so we’re leaving.”
Roserin Alshalek, a Business Management with Finance student, also from the UK, said: “If Labour wins, they probably go for another referendum. This time I’d say go for the referendum because we’re going to choose to stay. [Now] we’re more educated on the topic, we know more about the pros and cons of leaving the EU.”
Alshalek added:” If the Tories win, we definitely going to leave, because I feel they don’t really care about what people think. They are going to choose to leave because it is better for them.”
Not only UK, but also EU and International students feel the pressure surrounding the outcome of the election. EU and International students feel that the next government’s policies will have an impact on their lives in the UK.
Nora Haddid, a Tunisian Business Management with Accounting student said:” Living costs will go up, the pound will increase. My country’s currency is already so low and it will be very difficult for my parents to pay for my tuition fees in the UK.”
Anna Martin, a Business Management, Economics and French student from the EU, said:” As a member of the EU, I’m against Brexit, if I could vote for a party, it would be Labour, mainly because of the NHS. I don’t think it would be fair for working-class people to have the NHS privatised.”
Students across the board think, whether the UK leaves or remains in the EU, will depend on the party that wins the election.
However, despite the uncertainty in the last few hours before the election results are out, students believe their chosen parties will deliver on their promises on Brexit.
In addition, scepticism is high among UK and International students alike, and most showed concern about the impact next government’s policies on Brexit might have on their personal lives and in the country as a whole.
Among students’ concerns were the increase in living costs, the NHS and UK trade relations with the EU.
Words, Still image, Infographic and Audio: Elza Lopes