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Lead Officer Role: 
Democracy, Operations and Community Officer

What students need to know (This meeting notes…)

  • In the 2017-18 academic year, 28.07% of the UCL student body were domiciled in the EU (excl. the UK).
  • Many students at UCL, including most first and second year undergraduates, were too young to vote in the 2016 referendum.
  • A recent Survation poll, the largest conducted since the referendum, indicated 54% nationwide support for remaining in the EU. It is estimated over 75% of 18-24 year olds support Remain.  
  • UCL students and staff who are EU nationals remain concerned at the impact of Brexit, in particular the risk of ‘No deal’, where currently only Britain and Norway have reached an agreement regarding the protection of citizens’ rights post-Brexit.
  • The leadership of the university, including the Provost, have been unequivocal in their assessment of the negative effect of Brexit on UCL’s research income.
  • In October 2018, the UCL Constitution Unit produced a report that confirmed a referendum with an option to remain in the EU was legally and politically viable, provided Article 50 was extended beyond March 2019.
  • In September 2018, the London mayor Sadiq Khan called for a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal, with an option to remain in the EU.
  • The National Union of Students supports a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal.
  • Over 700,000 people, including hundreds of UCL students and staff marched through Central London on the 20 October calling for a People’s Vote, the second largest demonstration in the UK this century.
  • Many departments at UCL are highly reliant on European Union frameworks for their research income.
  • Graduate and undergraduate students benefit enormously from the funding for academic research provided by the European Union.

What Union Council thinks about it (This meeting believes…)

  • UCL’s status and ranking as a world-leading university is at risk from the effects of Brexit.
  • The University benefits enormously from the easy presence of students from other member states of the European Union at UCL.
  • The potential impact of Brexit on students from the European Union on issues such as funding, fees, immigration status, accommodation and access to health care is having a detrimental impact on the student experience for these students.
  • Students and young people will be hit particularly hard by the negative impact of Brexit.
  • Brexit has the potential to negatively impact a number of areas that the SU campaigns on, such as supporting the NHS, fighting for environmental justice, and supporting educational opportunities at Oxford.
  • As such, there should be a referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal with an option to remain in the EU on the ballot paper, and UCL Students’ Union should support the People’s Vote campaign
  • The University should ensure that students are well-informed about the likely impacts of Brexit.
  • The University should ensure that students are made aware of the ways the University is trying to influence the outcomes of the Brexit negotiations.
  • The University should work with the student body to ensure that it understands students’ concerns about Brexit.
  • Support and advice should be available for students affected by Brexit.conditions at UCL cannot be separated from a wider struggle for lower rent across London.

What we should do (This meeting resolves…)

  • To support and campaign for a ‘People’s Vote’ on the final Brexit deal with an option to remain in the European Union
  • To work with student campaigns in support of a People’s Vote.
  • To mandate the elected Sabbatical Officers to write to Keir Starmer, the MP representing the vast majority of UCL students, calling on him to support a People’s Vote on the final Brexit deal, with an option to Remain in the EU.