Part four in Prospect's "Reality of no deal" seriesby Paul James Cardwell / November 21, 2017 / Leave a comment
Hardline Eurosceptics in the Tory Party—think John Redwood, Owen Paterson, Jacob Rees-Mogg—are increasingly talking up the “no deal” Brexit outcome. It wouldn’t be so bad, they say. Britain could muddle through.
Actually, such an exit would be disastrous. While we rightly focus attention on the headline issues of a border in Ireland and EU citizens’ rights, there are many other problems that leaving the EU without a deal might cause. In this series we’re exploring them. Here I want to look at the consequences for the Erasmus programme of a “no deal” outcome.
What is Erasmus and how long has it been going?
The Erasmus programme is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It is an EU-run scheme best known for facilitating the exchange of students between universities across Europe. In fact it has grown to cover much more, including work placements, training, teaching placements and so on: this is why it is currently known as “Erasmus+.”
Is it popular?
Since the programme began in 1987, 200,000 British students have participated, and around 15,000 now take part annually. Most degrees involving a European language include a year in the corresponding country, and increasingly the same applies for students studying Law, Business, Engineering, Science, Arts and Social Science subjects. Opportunities to study in English across Europe under Erasmus have grown and the UK has been one of the most in demand destinations for other EU students.
Ok, so how will Erasmus be affected by Brexit?
Erasmus+ is an EU programme, so if we do nothing, leaving the EU will mean leaving Erasmus. The current programme runs until 2020 and the European Commission has just launched its set of ideas for how to take things forward. And the UK was missing from the map. There is no doubt that the EU side wants to continue the relationship with the UK and its high quality institutions. But with Britain soon to be on the outside, the priority will be enhancing cooperation between the remaining members.
Wait, Brexit means the UK won’t be able to take part?
Maybe. After Brexit, the UK will be a “third country,” outside of the EU. But a handful of non-EU countries do take part, including Iceland, Norway and Turkey.…