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Students join university EU Referendum workshop debate

A workshop on issues surrounding the EU Referendum gave Havering Sixth Form College students the chance to show off their debating skills.

The students were filmed by TV channel London Live during the workshop held at the University of East London.

Eleven students from the college volunteered to take part in the debate, ahead of the Referendum on June 23, where the keynote speaker was East Ham MP Stephen Timms.

They joined other students from St Bonaventure’s RC School in Forest Gate to work in groups and debate key issues, including freedom of movement, the economy, democracy and sovereignty, representing the views of the six main political parties.

Students join university EU Referendum workshop debate | April 2016

Havering Sixth Form College Principal Paul Wakeling said: “We are extremely proud of the students who participated in this debate. They gave articulate, thoughtful and inciteful arguments on the EU Referendum and presented themselves extremely well. They are a credit to the college.”

Student Sigourney Hove, 18, from Romford, who took part, said: "The workshop was really enjoyable and has helped me weigh up the various views of the main political parties in order to come to a decision on how I will vote in the Referendum.

"I strongly believe the United Kingdom should stay in the EU after listening to all the arguments, for and against. The workshop also provided me with knowledge and information that I may be able to use in my upcoming A Level exams. I would definitely attend something similar again."

The workshop was run by UEL to give students a taste of university learning and to ignite their interest in current affairs.

Speaking at the event, MP Mr Timms said: “Although I strongly believe Britain is better in the EU, I am impressed that the University of East London is encouraging young people to engage with all the debates around Brexit.

“For some of these students, it will be the first time they have voted on something so monumental. For others, it could mean growing up in a Britain outside of the EU.

“The questions from students have been intelligent, and I am confident that civic engagement projects like this will continue to spark interest in politics among the next generation.”

The Havering Sixth Form students were commended by the hosts at UEL for integrating and participating so enthusiastically and for their professional approach to the debates.