TWO-thirds of young people in Scotland believe the country should remain as part of the European Union, according to a new survey.

And seven out of ten want to see 16 and 17-year-olds given the right to vote in all elections and referendums in Scotland, the UK and Europe.

The findings have been revealed in the Scottish Youth Parliament’s (SYP) new manifesto, launched yesterday, which aims to highlight the priorities which 12 to 25-year-olds believe should be given priority by politicians.

But it also contains a number of insights into views on various issues – including that only less than a quarter of young people support the death penalty.

Jordan Linden, chair of the SYP, said the manifesto consultation involved direct engagement with young people to give them the opportunity to have their views heard.

He said: “For us it is about ensuring the views of young people are heard by candidates across the political parties ahead of the election, so they know the issues that matter to young people in Scotland – they know what we think and what we feel.”

Linden said almost a quarter of young people – 23% - said they were not sure when it came to the question of remaining in the EU. A total of 66% agreed with the statement that Scotland should remain a member of the EU, while 11% disagreed.

Linden said: “There was the debate about whether young people (16 and 17-year-olds) should have the vote in that particular referendum. Even though they were robbed of the opportunity to cast their vote, not having a vote shouldn’t mean not having a voice.

“Young people are going to live with this important decision, it is going to affect their future. We absolutely need to make more effort to involve young people - and everybody - in this discussion, to make sure people do know and are aware of the issues and have access to information.”

The priorities highlighted in the manifesto, which consulted with nearly 73,000 young people, include tackling violence against women and girls and discrimination and investing in quality mental health services.

It also includes calls for action to tackle poverty and income inequality, for tuition for further and higher education to be kept free in Scotland and for the national minimum wage to be raised to the living wage for everyone, regardless of age.

The consultation also found 54% agree the ban on the death penalty should be stay in place, but 22% disagreed and 24% were not sure.

It also revealed mixed views on scrapping Trident, with 50% agreeing the nuclear deterrent should go - however 18% disagreed and 32% said they were not sure.

Linden said the issue of the death penalty was an “emotive subject” and that access to information would be key in determining a young person’s view on the issue.

He added: “It may be some felt they didn’t have enough information to know what the implications would be.

"However 54% did say the ban should be kept in place – it is an interesting observation.”