SNP Welcomes Commission Efforts on EU-UK Youth Mobility


Categories: Children and Young People, European Union, UK Government (Westminster)

European Commission Propose Opening Negotiations with UK on New Agreement

The SNP has welcomed the decision of the European Commission to propose opening negotiations on a potential agreement on youth mobility between the UK and the EU.

The news comes after the Commission put forward a recommendation to the European Council to facilitate a new agreement given the challenges facing youth exchanges between both the EU and the UK. Post-Brexit hurdles have significantly affected the opportunities for young people to benefit from youth, cultural, educational, research and training exchanges.  

The proposal will look to remove barriers and create a right for young people to travel from the EU to the UK and vice-versa more easily and for a longer period of time. Should the Council agree, the Commission will be empowered to launch negotiations with the UK on youth mobility.

The SNP has previously called for such an agreement post-Brexit as a way to maintain close ties as well as ensure Scotland’s young people can take advantage of opportunities to live, work and study on the continent and vice-versa for Europeans coming to Scotland. Speaking at the last meeting of the EU-UK Parliamentary Partnership Assembly in December 2023, the SNP Europe and EU Accession spokesperson Alyn Smith MP was supportive of the work to find an agreement but urged the UK to go further and re-join Erasmus+ .

SNP Europe and EU Accession spokesperson Alyn Smith MP said:

‘I am glad to see the progress that has been made to bring about a new youth mobility agreement but let’s not forget that we would not be in this position if the UK had respected Scotland’s vote to remain in the EU.

‘That our young people have had their opportunities to experience life in Europe needlessly curtailed by successive Westminster governments is deeply frustrating, particularly with the continuing refusal of the UK to re-join Erasmus+ which did so much to help students both from Scotland and Europe. With the Commission now taking this step to build bridges, I hope that the UK will be quick to secure an agreement so that young people across these islands can benefit from the opportunities that living in the EU can bring.

‘At the end of the day, whilst progress on individual agreements is to be welcomed ultimately the best deal for Scotland is independence back in the EU.

Notes for Editors:

Commission proposes to open negotiations to facilitate youth mobility between the EU and the UK –

UK-EU Parliamentary Partnership Assembly, December 2023  –