In March 2021, the Young Liberals launched across-party campaign for the UK to remain a member of the Erasmus+ scheme.
The Erasmus scheme allows students to study in participating universities around the EU. On 15th January 2020, Boris Johnson pledged that “there [was] no threat to the Erasmus scheme” - less than a year later, the Conservative Government that the UK would be leaving the scheme.
Erasmus+ allowed young people from across the UK, regardless of their background, to access an international education. Former Erasmus+ participants claim the scheme has improved their employability, helped them access global opportunities, and developed them as citizens of a connected world.
Janey Little, Policy Officer of the Young Liberals, said: “This is a campaign which rises above party political differences. This is about fighting for our futures. We are standing together because we want young people across the UK to be able to access the wealth of opportunities in the global community through the Erasmus+ Programme.”
The Young Liberals have co-authored a statement with our sister party in Northern Ireland, Alliance Youth, alongside the Young European Movement. We expressed our condemnation of the failure of the UK Government to ensure continued participation of the UK in Erasmus+. The Young Greens of England and Wales, Scottish Young Greens, Young Scots for Independence, SNP Students, and SDLP Youth joined as signatories of the statement.
Peter Banks, International Officer of the Young Liberals, said: “The Tories and Labour continue to ignore students and educators whose rights under Erasmus+ were supposed to be guaranteed in the Brexit negotiations. This bold, cross-party campaign shows the resolve of young people from across the political spectrum and across the United Kingdom to put our futures first, and return to the Erasmus+ Programme.