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'Yes' campaign wins YUSU referendum to support a second Brexit vote

The 'Yes' campaign defeated the 'No' campaign by securing 62.1 per cent of the votes on a turnout of 6.2 per cent

Photo Credit: YUSU

The 'Yes' campaign has won the YUSU referendum over whether the Union "should support a referendum on the final deal of the UK's departure departure from the European Union, with an option to remain". 

The 'Yes' campaign received 62.1 per cent of the votes with 768 votes while the 'No' campaign received 33.4 per cent with 413 votes. 4.4 per cent of voters abstained with 55 abstentions. There were a total of 1236 votes with a voter turnout of 6.2 per cent, exceeding quorum by 1.2 per cent.  

The result means that supporting a second Brexit vote will now be official Union policy. This mandates YUSU staff and Officers to implement the policy and meetings are to be held with the victorious 'yes' campaign to decide how this is done. 

The 'Yes' campaign commented to Nouse on their victory: "The 'Yes' campaign is delighted to have won a clear victory. We congratulate the 'No' side for running a robust campaign, and welcome all opportunities for students to have their say. Students have spoken in favour of a policy that allows YUSU to campaign on their behalf against the damaging impact of Brexit on students in York and beyond, and universities across the country.

"We are pleased that YUSU is now able to take a stance on such an important issue, and that students have had the opportunity to have their say and implement a common-sense policy. We will continue to work with YUSU now that the campaign is over to implement this policy, and confirm that no funding will be diverted from ring-fenced budgets to fight this campaign. Finally, we thank the Returning Officer and YUSU for organising the referendum, and the committed Yes campaigners who worked so hard to make this result possible."

The 'No' said of their defeat: "We would like to congratulate the 'Yes' side on a well-fought campaign. However, we are disappointed that our student body (the tiny percentage that voted) have voted to inform the disenfranchised that the views they expressed in 2016 are irrelevant. We were also frustrated that our posters were torn down in such great numbers, and call on YUSU to take steps to ensure that this does not happen in the future.

"In order to bring attention to this issue, we made a formal complaint to the returning officer on Wednesday and although we are not disputing the results of the referendum (rest assured there will be no second referendum on whether to support a second referendum!), we look forward to opening conversations on how these issues can be resolved in the upcoming elections, and subsequent referenda."

Student Activities Officer Finn Judge, who proposed the policy in a private capacity that triggered the referendum, said on social media:  "This motion – while important – took me one evening to write. It hasn’t distracted Steph Hayle SU from lobbying First Bus and speaking to councillors. It hasn’t distracted me from, you guessed it, supporting our societies and student media.

"Students have voted in favour of a national policy position and this will contribute towards a national policy debate. We can signpost to external campaigning opportunities, but I won’t be reallocating the annual society budget just yet."

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