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Guest blog from work experience student Tom
Last week, we welcomed Tom into the office to do a few days of work experience. He was a great help and as part of his work wrote a blog reflecting on his time in the office:
When entering an office focused on a topic as sensitive as the United Kingdom’s relationship with the United Kingdom it is difficult to know what to expect. I was tentative to say the least, however, I’m glad to say that the experience was enjoyable, and helped me gain a perspective of the uncertain future that faces everyone across the UK.
I arrived early on my first day, to make a favourable impression and was quickly introduced to the team. Then, I was put to work writing the daily Brexit briefing, Brexit unsurprisingly being a key theme in the days to come. On the day in question, an article had come through surrounding the issue of the border between the Republic of Ireland, which will stay in the EU, and Northern Ireland, a province of the UK. The government came out with a statement, suggesting that a hard border would not be necessary, which caused much resentment from some people. I learnt quickly that there are no easy answers to any of the issues Brexit brings.
Next, I was working on a presentation to inform people about how the European Parliament works and the role of an MEP. Having limited knowledge in the area myself, I found the task to be insightful. News outlets cover the European Parliament less frequently then I feel they should. The aid provided by the team and information I researched gave me a glimpse of the positive work achieved by the European Parliament; such as the push for cleaner air. The actions taken to improve Britain’s air quality has saved lives and reduced the NHS’s expenditure by millions each year, yet I had read little about the story at the time. Later in the week, I worked on a “jargon” pamphlet, to help people my own age learn about key Brexit concepts, for instance, the WTO. I think resources like this are useful. There is not enough information provided about what Britain could be like outside of the EU and people need to be more educated.
For me the time spent in the office was invaluable in helping me decide what I want to do with my future and I would recommend it to anyone who thinks they might be interested in a political career. My main discovery during my time, however, was how little we all know when it comes to politics and how much more we should know. After all “the ballot is stronger than the bullet” – Abraham Lincoln.