Disclaimer: Although Wessex Scene are a SUSU-affiliated Union Group, the views of SUSU don’t necessarily represent the views of the publication as a whole. As with any political event, Wessex Scene as a publication are remaining neutral. However, we are as always happy to give individual students a platform to express their views in our Opinion section.
Union President Emily Harrison has released a statement on behalf of the Students’ Union, announcing that SUSU’s official stance on the prorogation of Parliament is that they ‘strongly condemn’ it.
Last academic year, 82.9% of participants (of a voter turnout of 17.9%) of the All Student Vote voted for SUSU to support the national campaign for the People’s Vote. Subsequently, Harrison notes in her statement that the results of student vote ‘asked us [SUSU] to support the national campaign for a People’s Vote on Brexit’.
Harrison goes on to explain that:
By suspending Parliament, the Prime Minister is halving the time for MPs to hold him to account and debate Brexit before the upcoming deadline on October 31st. As a result, this effectively eliminates the possibility for there to be a second referendum on Brexit. With our mandate from students regarding this issue, we therefore cannot in any way support what we feel to be a highly undemocratic and historically unprecedented decision.
In the statement, she also confirms SUSU’s intention to write to local MPs ( Alan Whitehead MP for Southampton Test; Caroline Nokes MP for Southampton & Romsey North; Royston Smith MP for Southampton Itchen and Steve Brine MP for Winchester) in order to ‘state our position and ask them for support on this matter.’
Harrison has also invited students to join SUSU in taking action against the prorogation by signing the official online petition as well as encouraging them to protest with some of SUSU’s sabbatical officers this Saturday in Central London.
You can read the full statement here.