Ahead of the European Union Referendum on June 23, the Gazette asked young people to share their thoughts on the big issues.We asked Petroc students Ewan Somerville, 17, from Braunton, and Alex Mullen, 18, from Barnstaple, to make their respective cases for the Remain and Leave votes. Alex, who is currently sitting his A-level exams and hopes to go on to study law at university in September, argued that a vote to leave was the best choice for young people. He said his intention to vote to Leave was not an anti-immigration vote, rather about taking control of who we can and cannot accept into the country. Although Ewan is too young to vote, the A-level student said the EU offered numerous benefits for young people, particularly those in education. He also said that hard-working, opportunistic economic migrants were vital to the stability of the NHS and education sectors. ALEX MULLEN LEAVE Clearly this referendum will hit us young people the most. We must live with the consequences of the choices made on June 23 for the rest of our lives, making this perhaps the most important vote we will ever see. For me, a vote to leave is the best choice for young people, for a whole range of reasons. Even George Osborne has conceded that house prices could fall by 18 per cent if we decided to leave the EU; and I believe this is a key issue for our futures, because for the first time ever many of us cannot aspire to the same ambitions as our parents. Open-door EU immigration has fuelled a constant rise in house prices, but dont get me wrong, a vote to leave is not an anti-immigration vote far from it. A vote to leave is a vote to retake control of who we can and cannot accept into our country, because clearly immigration is hugely beneficial to the UK in many ways, not least for propping up the NHS. I could go on and on about why we should leave, but just ask yourselves: Can the UK prosper outside of the EU? Can the UK be a great, diverse and progressive country without the need to be baby-sat by unelected EU politicians? Ill let you decide.EWAN SOMERVILLE REMAIN The European Union offers numerous benefits for young people, many of which we take for granted. Almost every educational institution in North Devon, and certainly Petroc, is, in part, funded by the European Social Fund. Furthermore, the Erasmus Mobility Programme subsidises numerous educational trips elsewhere on the continent and allows both UK and foreign students to study in other EU countries for a ninth of the UK tuition fee, if not for free. Professor Melissa Percival from the University of Exeter recently warned of the impact exclusion from Erasmus+ could have on modern foreign language students. Undoubtedly, membership of the EU is vital for British universities. Professor Sir Steve Smith, vice-chancellor and chief executive of Exeter University, wrote in the latest edition of campus newspaper Exeposé that the EU funds numerous research projects. Even the one and only Professor Stephen Hawking has expressed his concern at the UK shutting its door to a budding community of scientific research. Then theres immigration vital to young peoples futures because hard-working, opportunistic economic migrants use the EUs freedom of movement to enhance our countrys workforce. With the ongoing recruitment crises in the NHS and education sectors, we need these skilled professionals if they are to remain stable for our lifetimes. I witnessed the devastating reality of climate change on a visit to Iceland in February, incidentally a non-EU country. The rhetoric of both campaigns in recent weeks has demonstrated how low this issue is on UK governmental agenda, but the EU provides a framework that forces us to prevent further damage. Ultimately, voting to remain isnt a cop-out. Rather, its a safe, sensible and well-considered choice that will ensure that we, young people, will have prosperous futures.