Welsh Liberal Democrats support Scottish referendum announcement

October 16, 2012 2:31 PM

Following the announcement that 16 and 17 year olds are to be able to take part in the Scottish referendum, Aled Roberts AM has reiterated the Welsh Liberal Democrats' support for the Votes at 16 campaign.

Yesterday, a deal setting out terms for a Scottish independence 2014 referendum was signed by Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Alex Salmond. Part of the agreement entailed that all 16 and 17 year olds will be able to have a say in determining the future of Scotland.

Aled Roberts AM commented:

"Of course the referendum is hugely important for a number of reasons - but allowing 16 year olds to vote is a seminal moment for Scottish, and possibly even British, democracy.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats have long thought that young people should get votes at 16. We are proud that the Liberal Democrats are the only mainstream party whose party policy is to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote. We believe this significant change should be for all elections, but sadly this is not a view shared across the Coalition Government or the House of Commons in general.

"It is my hope that, following the referendum, people will see that 16 and 17 year olds can be mature enough to have a stake in our democracy.

"Once a person reaches the age of 16, they have the ability to make life changing decisions such as whether to get married, start a family, join the armed forces, give full medical consent, and they can start paying tax. For me, it is fundamental that if a person is considered old enough to die for their country and pay towards our tax system, then that person should be considered old enough to be able to vote."

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