Will Brexit sound the death knell for Erasmus in the UK? A misinterpreted vote by British MPs raised fears of the worst for the exchange program. On both sides of the Channel.
Everything started froma tweet from the House of Commons announcing a vote against an amendment on Erasmus. In France, Franco-British journalist Alex Taylor announced : ” without anyone noticing, MEPs from Great Britain have just taken away the right to Erasmus from young Britons “. Followed by a MoDem MP: ” young British people will be excluded from the Erasmus program “. The same bell was heard in the United Kingdom.
In fact, MPs did not vote to end the program. They only voted against an amendment that would have forced the country to reach an agreement with the European Union on educational programs, including Erasmus, before the achievement of Brexit. The government has simply refused to allow this opposition amendment to constrain it in its negotiations with Brussels.
The British Minister for Higher Education was quick to tweet: ” last night’s vote is a game played by opposition parties. It does not end or prevent the United Kingdom from continuing to participate in Erasmus after leaving the European Union. We remain open to participation and this will be part of the negotiations with the European Union “. There is no way of knowing what will happen to Erasmus after Brexit, so it is still too early to deduce from this vote that the program will be interrupted.
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