EUROPEAN Parliament chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt has thrown his weight behind a campaign by a group of charities to have the voices of young Scots heard in the EU talks.

Yesterday, the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland Bruce Adamson, along with charities Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights), and Children in Scotland, met in Westminster with parliamentarians and counterparts from other organisations across the UK, at the launch of a campaign to stop children being excluded from the Brexit dialogue.

They called on the UK Government to keep children involved and informed in discussions around Brexit, to understand that children and young people are disproportionately affected, and to give children’s views a platform.

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Speaking to The National from Brussels, Verhofstadt gave the campaigners his backing:

“As parliamentarians, we all have a duty to represent the views of everyone in society, in particular the young people and children who will deal with the far reaching consequences of Brexit,” he said. “For me, it’s important that young British Europeans will be able to continue to take part in exchange programmes with schools and universities on the continent after Brexit.”

Bruce Adamson, said the meeting had been successful. “It highlighted that there’s a long way to go and some real challenges ahead,” he said. “It’s a really concerning and scary time right now, particularly for EU national children.

“We spoke a lot about that. We spoke a lot about child protection and safeguarding.

“The way that’s done across in terms of child trafficking, in terms of sharing information, and Europol. Those are all based within EU agreements, and there are some concerns about how we make sure child protection continues to work.”

Adamson added: “If you’re under 18, you didn’t get to vote in this, yet you could be affected by it most. So it’s important we get children and young people involved in this.

“There’s a real urgency now. Things are progressing quite quickly and we’re only just starting these conversations.”

Adamson says he plans to hold a similar Scottish meeting soon.

An Ipsos Mori poll of 2000 young people for the British Council, said many feel “angry and emotional” about last year’s vote to leave the EU.

Of those polled, six in 10 said they would vote to remain if another referendum was held now.

The report said: “While there are certainly those who see leaving the EU as a great opportunity, many participants in our focus groups were worried about impacts on their lives, prospects and future plans.

“This included constraining opportunities to work and study in other countries.

“Furthermore, there was some concern that, internationally, the UK will be seen as a country looking inwards at a time when global co-operation has never been more important.”

Ian Wybron, who worked on the poll and the report said: “Young adults want reassurances that government will work to maintain and grow opportunities for young people to connect abroad and not just for the usual suspects who do so already.”

A spokesman for the UK Government’s Department for Education said: “We have been clear that Britain should always remain a truly outward looking, global nation.”