Over 100 MEPs Sign Letter to EU Commission
Alyn Smith MP has welcomed fresh calls to the European Commission, to investigate how Scotland and Wales could stay in the Erasmus exchange programme.
Terry Reintke, a German Member of the European Parliament and leading figure in the Green movement, has galvanised support from 144 fellow MEPs to formally request clarification on methods by which Scottish and Welsh students could participate in the European education programme.
The news comes as reports in The Times indicate direct talks between Brussels and Holyrood are underway, in order to find a path forward.
The UK Government did not pursue continued membership of the programme in recent negotiations, instead opting to create a UK-based ‘Turing Scheme’ which has been viewed by many as far inferior to Erasmus+.
Alyn Smith, Member of the UK Parliament for Stirling and former MEP for Scotland said:
‘This show of solidarity from like-minded European colleagues is really welcome, and demonstrates the strength of feeling Scotland and Wales attracts within the European Union.
‘The loss of Scotland’s membership of the Erasmus scheme has been shameful, made more painful still by the fact Scotland overwhelmingly rejected Brexit in the 2016 referendum.’
‘For me, it’s personal. I had the good fortune of studying at Heidelberg 1992/1993, and it breaks my heart the UK government seeks to exclude future generations from these life changing opportunities.
‘Scotland is a European nation, and our educational institutions, scholars and students deserve no less than the immense opportunities offered through the Erasmus programme.
‘I thank Terry Reintke and her colleagues for asking these important questions, and look forward to the day that Scotland can re-join the European Union as an independent country once more.’