Monday, 12 August 2019 08:27


On International Youth Day (today, Monday 12th August), the SNP has called on Boris Johnson to re-think his plan to cut Britain’s young people off from opportunities in Europe.

Both Labour and the Tories are committed to ending freedom of movement, which would remove the right to live, work and study across the EU from the people in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

More than a quarter of full time research staff at Scottish universities are EU nationals, while Scottish students are able to study across Europe as part of their degree under the Erasmus+ scheme. EU funding has also allowed the Scottish Government to increase college places and provide extra training for young people.

Just last week, the UK was also set to end its membership of the Interrail scheme - a programme that allows people to travel across Europe on a single train ticket - before a swift turnaround from rail companies after SNP pressure.

The scheme, which as been in place since 1972, gives young people in particular the opportunity to visit and explore other countries on a budget and was about to be scrapped without the UK government even lifting a finger to stop it at a time when young people’s opportunities for travelling and working abroad are already set to be limited by Brexit.

Commenting, SNP Youth Affairs spokesperson Mhairi Black said:

“Young people in Scotland didn’t vote for Brexit – yet, if Boris Johnson gets his way, they’ll have to pay the price.

“Scotland’s youth benefit enormously from EU membership and they shouldn’t miss out because a right-wing Brexiteer is hell-bent on a disastrous no-deal Brexit.

“Whether it’s the contributions made to Scottish education by EU nationals, or the chance for young Scots to live, work and study abroad, being part of Europe can be life-changing.  

“I’m delighted that the rail companies u-turned on their decision, ensuring that future generations across Europe will continue to have opportunities to explore Europe. However, there is so much more to do to to retain the current benefits young people in Scotland and the UK have through membership of the EU.

“Boris Johnson must take stock of the life-changing opportunities that thousands of young people will miss out on if he does not intervene to save the UK’s Interrail membership and continues to bull-doze ahead with his damaging ‘do or die’ Brexit.”

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