They may not be able to buy drink or alcohol but the House of Lords wants them to vote

Tonight the House of Lords jumped the democratic shark, by voting to allow 16 and 17 years a vote in the upcoming EU Referendum.

By doing so a house largely comprised of broken down, unelected and failed politicians had the chutzpah to decide on who should and should not be able to vote said the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Joe Jenkins, the Chairman of the UKIP youth wing, Young Independence said:

"This is a clear display of arrogance from an unelected and undemocratic body. A House packed full of superannuated former politicians, with over 100 Liberal Democratic peers, and with clearly no mandate to make such decisions has decided that they need to load the electoral dice. Young people in Britain are no fools, but those below the age of 18, do not have to pay taxes, but are subject to huge amounts of pro-EU propaganda in educational establishments.

Polling Station 2"If the country wants 16 and 17 year olds to have the vote, this is something that would require a full national debate, and the forum for that is the elected House of Commons, not the Lords.

"The same people who want to give teenagers the vote, are the people who don't think that teenagers can judge for themselves over whether they should drink or smoke, but think they should be trusted with the country's future.

"Of course the pro-EU peers might be careful of what they wish for. The SNP tried this in the Scottish referendum, and the patronising attitude didn't work there. The House of Lords is supposed to be the repository of the nation's political wisdom, tonight they show themselves to be constitutional charlatans".

Arron Banks, co-founder of responded by saying:

Regarding 16-17 year olds, we fully intend on winning over that demographic. We have hired the best referendum experts in the world to help us understand these voters and the issues that matter to them the most.

"Either way, we are ready."

On the other side of the argument Hilary Benn MP, Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary, said:

"Votes at 16 is an idea whose time has come. Young adults should be able to have their say in the European referendum; after all it is about their future too. Labour has pushed hard for their voice to be heard and David Cameron should now think again and give 16 and 17 year olds a vote in this big decision for our country."

Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb welcomed the vote.

The Green Party’s representative in the House of Lords has described the vote as ‘a vital and inspiring step towards ensuring democracy works for all’, and confirmed she and her party will continue to work to widen the franchise for all UK referenda and elections.

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