This paper reports the results from a deliberative event for young people (16- to 18-yearolds), inspired by the UK Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s 2014 report, A new Magna Carta?, which asked whether Britain should adopt a written constitution. Deliberative events are a potential vehicle for engaging young people with potentially distant political issues. We found that participating in deliberative activities increased young people’s knowledge about the constitutional options set out in A new Magna Carta?, and it also crystallised opinions about Britain’s constitution. Our research was clear in finding little support among our participants for a written constitution, and it was also clear that deliberation, if anything, entrenched support for the status quo. We further suggest that parliamentarians and policy makers might use deliberative-polling events more systematically and routinely to consult and empower young people on issues that affect them directly.
Key words: young people, deliberation, political participation, the British constitution