@BorisJohnson must now keep his promise to protect #Erasmus

Boris Johnson 100x100In response to a question from Douglas Chapman MP during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday (15 Jan), the Prime Minister replied:

“Mr Speaker, I’m afraid the Hon. Gentleman is talking through the back of his neck. There is no threat to the Erasmus scheme. We will continue to participate.

"UK students will continue to be able to enjoy the benefits of exchanges with our European friends and partners just as they will be able to continue to come to this country.”


Gavin Williamson 100x100However, during the debate on the Queen’s Speech (14 Jan), Education Secretary Gavin Williamson MP said that:

“As we prepare to forge a new place on the international stage we want our young people to have the opportunity to study abroad through exchange programmes. The United Kingdom is open to participation in the next Erasmus+ programme, and this will be a question for future negotiations with the European Union.

"We do truly understand the value that such exchange programmes bring all students right across the United Kingdom, but to ensure that we are able to continue to offer that we will also develop our own alternative arrangements should they be needed.”

It comes after MPs voted against a Liberal Democrat amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill last Wednesday (8 January) that would have required the Government to seek to negotiate full participation in Erasmus after Brexit.

An identical amendment has been tabled by Liberal Democrat Peer, Mike Storey, and will be debated in the House of Lords today (16 Jan). It has been co-signed by Crossbench and Green members of the House of Lords.

Layla Moran100x100Responding to Boris Johnson’s comments during Prime Minister’s Questions that “there is no threat to the Erasmus scheme”, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson, Layla Moran MP, said:
“Every year, over 17,000 UK university students study or work abroad through Erasmus, plus hundreds more college students and apprentices. Boris Johnson is right not to throw this away.
“But Johnson’s comments beg the question – if Erasmus is not under threat, why did he order MPs to vote down a Liberal Democrat amendment last week to keep the UK in Erasmus?

“What's more, just yesterday, the Education Secretary told the House of Commons that the Government was prepared to ‘develop our own alternative arrangements should they be needed.’
“The Prime Minister must now back up his words with actions. The Government must now make a clear, unambiguous promise to negotiate to stay in Erasmus – such as by backing our amendment on Erasmus in the House of Lords tomorrow. Liberal Democrats will not let Boris Johnson lower young people’s horizons.”


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