Brexiteers Michael Gove and Boris Johnson have been accused of laughing about the end of the UK’s participation in the Erasmus scheme, as MPs debate the Brexit deal in the House of Commons.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford told MPs: “He will remember standing in this House promising we will be staying in the Erasmus program.
“That betrayal denies our young people that European citizenship has given us.
“It denies them the European freedoms that we cherish – living, working and studying abroad.
“Around 200,000 people have taken part in the Erasmus including 50,000 UK university students each year.
“It’s also important to say Erasmus isn’t solely about university students, it’s about supporting youth works and adult education, sport, culture and vocational training.
“It’s why the Scottish government are so committed so exploring every opportunity to keep Erasmus in place for our people.
“Even the name Erasmus signals our long-established European links, and that long tradition of connection comes right up to the modern-day with our own Winnie Ewing – Madame Ecosse herself.
“Winnie, a former mother of the European Parliament, was chair of the EU education committee that brought in the Erasmus scheme.”
It is at this point MPs from the Tory benches can be heard laughing, as Blackford called out the prime minister and Cabinet Office minister for mocking his comments.
“People at home will be watching this and they will see the prime minister and the chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster laughing about the success of the Erasmus scheme. Utterly, utterly, utterly pathetic.”
Christine Morgan tweeted: “Ian Blackford is correct. We ARE watching Gove & Johnson laughing about losing the Erasmus education program”.
Another viewer remarked: “Do you hear an apology from Johnson to UK students for lying about his commitment to the UK remaining in the Erasmus scheme ? I didn’t.”