Ballyclare High puupils tackle Brexit debate

Adele McCafferty, Jasmine Reid and Emalee O'Connell recently put their debating skills to good use when they represented Croatia at this year's Mock Council of the European Union.
Adele McCafferty, Jasmine Reid and Emalee O'Connell recently put their debating skills to good use when they represented Croatia at this year's Mock Council of the European Union.

Students from Ballyclare High School recently joined 18 others schools from across Northern Ireland to tackle two of Europe’s most pressing issues at a Mock Council of the European Union debate.

Sixth form pupils, Adele McCafferty, Jasmine Reid and Emalee O’Connell were at Stormont to discuss the future EU-UK relationship and how the European Union will need to develop to deal with the challenges of the 21st Century.

The debate occurred as the real European Council met to review the latest developments in negotiations following the United Kingdom’s notification of its intention to leave the European Union.

Now in its 13th year, the event — which is organised by British Council Northern Ireland and the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland — was chaired by Jane Morrice from the European Economic and Social Committee, with Ballyclare High School representing Croatia.

Speaking about the event, Colette FitzGerald, Head of the European Commission Office in Northern Ireland, said: “The European Commission Office in Northern Ireland is delighted to support the Mock Council, which is an ideal opportunity for students in Northern Ireland to learn and debate about the big issues facing the European Union in today’s global

economy.”

Speaking afterwards, Jonathan Stewart, Deputy Director, British Council Northern Ireland, added his belief that the event is a great

way for young people’s voices to be heard.

He said: “It is clear from today’s debate that students have strong opinions on what is going on in UK politics and beyond.  This event put pupils at the head of the negotiation table and allowed them not only to see how politics works at a wider, European level, but it also gave them the chance to understand the possible ramifications Brexit has on the UK, as well as

the rest of Europe.”

*Did you know? British Council Northern Ireland creates international opportunities for the people of Northern Ireland and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. They are a Royal Charter charity, established as the United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Their 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes. The British Council is committed to providing international opportunities to schools in Northern Ireland. Find our more at http://nireland.britishcouncil.org