THE Scottish Government named 2018 the Year of Young People, with the aim to inspire Scotland through those aged eight to 26.

It aims to celebrate their achievements and talents, valuing their contribution to communities and society, and create new opportunities for them to shine locally, nationally and globally.

While acting as a platform for young people and giving them a stronger voice on issues affecting their lives, the YoYP 2018 is an opportunity for generations to come together and celebrate Scotland’s youth, challenge the status quo and create a more positive perception of them in society.

Being very passionate about YoYP 2018, I was delighted to attend the launch of Inverclyde’s Year of Young People programme which will recognise and celebrate the accomplishments and talents of Inverclyde’s youth.

As part of this programme, Inverclyde will host two Clyde Conversation events this year, which will bring young people together to discuss issues affecting them and develop a plan of action to address these issues.

A celebratory event is also planned to recognise the achievements, diversity and civic contribution of Inverclyde’s young people and will include awards such as Young Carer of the Year and Youth Environment Award, as well as an overall Young Person of the Year 2019 award.

Inverclyde is full of talented young individuals and I’m excited to see these events in action. I’m also looking forward to seeing intergenerational learning taking place in the constituency as a result of YoYP 2018.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, but it’s clear no love has been lost between EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and Theresa May, as Mr Barnier last week warned the Prime Minister that a transition period immediately after Brexit in 2019 is not a given.

According to the EU, this is a result of substantial disagreements still remaining and a lack of clarity over the UK’s position.

We may not have left the EU yet, but Brexit is already having a negative impact on the UK. Yesterday was also Ash Wednesday – the beginning of Lent – making Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) the day previous, but I bet nobody expected Brexit to affect their pancakes.

However recent research shows that the price of staple items like milk, butter and flour have spiralled by nearly 30 per cent since the Brexit vote – and the average price of pancake mixture has increased 8 per cent since June 2016.

This may seem a frivolous example, but the reality is that with 30 per cent of the food consumed in the UK coming from the EU, adding damaging tariffs to these imports is going to devastate shoppers at the checkout.

With EU funding also accounting for around two-thirds of Scottish farmers’ income, both the price and availability of food in a post-Brexit UK will suffer.