Opportunities to study and train abroad under the EU’s Erasmus programme must be protected during the coming Brexit negotiations, the Liberal Democrats have said.
The party has backed a motion calling on the Government to make a clear commitment to protecting the student exchange scheme, which has benefited over 200,000 UK students since it was set up in 1987. Around 100,000 more young people in the UK were expected to go on Erasmus from now until 2020, benefiting from EU funded grants to cover tuition, travel and living costs.
Almost 10,000 people have backed a petition launched by the Liberal Democrats to save Erasmus that will be delivered to Downing Street and European leaders.
Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson John Pugh MP commented:
"Young people overwhelmingly voted to remain, it would be utterly unfair to make them pay the price for Brexit by depriving them of this unique opportunity to study abroad."
"The Government must commit to making it an absolute priority to preserve the UK’s participation in Erasmus in the negotiations ahead."
"The Liberal Democrats are determined to be the true voice of opposition, holding this Conservative Brexit government to account and fighting to ensure vital European cooperation is protected."
Co-Chair of Liberal Youth Charlie Kingsbury commented:
"Erasmus unlocks so many opportunities for students across Europe."
"It enriches their cultural knowledge and understanding of people from all walks of life, providing life-changing experiences to thousands."
"As proud internationalists, the Liberal Democrats cannot allow the Tories to put this in jeopardy."