Boris Johnson's rejection of Erasmus robs us of our futures

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Nina de Ayala Parker reacts to the news that the UK will no longer participate in the EU Erasmus scheme after the end of the Brexit transition period.

Thanks to Boris Johnson British students and young people will no longer be able to participate in the Erasmus exchange programme under the Brexit deal agreed today. And for what? Why? There is no logic in any of this.  

By removing the Erasmus program, the UK government are robbing young people's futures; the very people who did not vote for Brexit are being punished for it!

There is literally nothing Christmassy or joyous about this decision. This is a sad, sad day. No amount of roasties covered in garlic or sweet, delectable mince pies will disguise this government’s bitter, twisted decision to bin the Erasmus program also called Erasmus Student Network.  

And for those of you thinking “Um…I don’t care…what even is Erasmus anyway?’, well, here’s a quick snap short: it’s the largest student-led movement in the world, which offers universities, schools, and businesses to exchange and spend time in each other’s countries, either studying or on apprenticeships.

An exchange of knowledge, cultures, and is a chance for someone to change the way they think and understand the world they live in. Moving away broadens your understanding of the world.  

Like the many ex-Erasmus students before me, I would not be the same person today if it wasn’t for the chance to live and study in another country. Yes, travel is a privilege, but what Erasmus does is give a young person without the means to travel, free money to do so! A grant to move away. This breaks down barriers! But Boris said ‘No’. He said ‘No’ to the freedom to live, study and love in another country. And that is such a shame. I can’t even sugarcoat this. It sucks. It really, really sucks.  

The fact that a young girl growing up in Britain today will not have the same opportunities I have had, is devastating.  

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But there is always hope, a new year is coming and all I can say is to the young people reading this, You will be in power one day, You will be the ones making the decisions. And in order to do so, you have to stand for an election, or get involved in the making of policy, don’t let the same stale old men decide your future.  

Merry Christmas.  

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