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Erasmus plus Programme

Volume 637: debated on Thursday 15 March 2018

7. What discussions he has had in negotiations on the UK leaving the EU on continuing UK participation in the Erasmus+ programme. (904382)

We have committed ourselves to continued UK participation in the Erasmus+ programme until 2020, and we welcome the opportunity to give clarity to young people as well as the youth and education sectors. While no decisions have yet been made about the post-2020 participation, since the scope of that programme has not been agreed, the Prime Minister said in her recent speech that the Government would seek an ongoing relationship in respect of

“educational and cultural programmes, to promote our shared values and enhance our intellectual strength in the world”.

Is the Department liaising with the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education and its Chair, Petra Kammerevert, and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture to discuss how Erasmus+ applications that are submitted before the Brexit date will be implemented?

I recognise my hon. Friend’s considerable expertise when it comes to the European Parliament. Ministers from our Department regularly engage with Members of the European Parliament. We have also met members of the Committee on Culture and Education to discuss a range of EU exit issues, and we will continue to seek opportunities to meet them. The Department for Education is the lead Department for Erasmus+ policy, and its officials are in regular touch with the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture.

Scotland has benefited from €64.8 million of funding for 658 projects since 2014. Coming out of Erasmus+ will mean not only a loss of money, but a loss of opportunity for young people in Scotland. How does the Minister intend to replace that?

In her Mansion House speech, the Prime Minister said:

“There are many…areas where the UK and EU economies are closely linked—including…education and culture.”

It is clear that we have an ambition to discuss potential future participation in those areas; and, of course, the UK has a wide range of international programmes, which we can consider how to extend in the years to come.