EU erasmus grant protect EU referendum Brexit Education future Lib DemOpportunities 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.

vince-cable european referendum lib dem

I appreciated the large response to my post-referendum blog on the 48 Movement.  The Bank Holiday Sunday press reminds us that this issue will very soon return with a vengeance as the politicians come back from their holidays.  The Brexit hardliners in the Tory party are already preparing their narrative of betrayal by Remainer ministers and sabotage by civil servants.

When I wrote my note there was agreement on many points, not least the negative impacts which still await us, but two things I said triggered a negative reaction.  One was my argument that the result was final and could not be wished away by legal subterfuge or attempts to reverse the vote.  I see that  Owen Smith in the Labour leadership contest is arguing for a re-run through a second referendum and that position appeals to many in our own party.  There will be debate on this issue at Conference. Since, unlike Labour, we have nothing to prove on the EU issue I hope we can be more realistic.  The most recent polls show that almost all Brexit voters and half of Remainers accept the result however much we deplore it.  Shock, anger and remorse are very understandable but not if these harden into the conviction that the majority of voters are gullible fools.

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