North West students get a taste of life in European Parliament

Wajid Khan took a group of students from Hutton Grammar School in Preston to Strasbourg, where they served as delegates at the 2018 European Youth Event.

They spent three days hearing from politicians about the work of the European Parliament, meeting young people from all over Europe, and debating on issues ranging from security and the environment, to jobs and the economy.
The group took the trip after Wajid launched a region-wide competition, calling for young people from all over the North West to submit work, in any format, on the topic of 'Britain's place in Europe'. The entries ranged from creative writing pieces, to short video documentaries. The winner, Madeline Jeffries, submitted a thought-provoking essay on Brexit, earning her and a group of sixth-form students at her school a place at the European Youth Event in June. The students described the trip as a "once in a lifetime opportunity".
Wajid Khan said:

“The European Youth Conference is a major annual event, attended by politicians and young people from all over Europe. I wanted to take the opportunity to ask young people across the north west to think about our place in Europe, and our future as a nation.

“The submissions to the competition of a really impressive standard. Entries came in the form of videos, animations, essays and creative writing. They showed a range of views on Britain’s roles and responsibilities on the international stage.

“Madeline’s entry stood out because it was extremely thoughtful and well-articulated. More than anything, she delved beyond the headlines and grappled with the facts, on both sides of the Brexit debate. 

“When we think about our place in Europe and the wider world, and obviously when it comes to Brexit, that was my aim in this competition - regardless of people’s views, I wanted to encourage everyone to think hard and examine their views.

“I joined the students from Hutton Grammar in Strasbourg. It really was a fantastic event. The whole group of students were thoughtful, enthusiastic and rose to the challenge of helping to represent our region at this European-wide event. The school should be incredibly proud of what they have achieved, and I hope they have had a good insight into the European Parliament which they can share with their peers.”