The governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are examining the possibility of continuing to participate in the European Exchange Programme Erasmus+. That’s what the Welsh Education minister Kirsty Williams said on Monday. Following the brexit, Boris Johnson’s government withdrew the United Kingdom from Erasmus+, but that is not to the liking of three of the four countries.
Following a trade agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom on Christmas Eve, it was announced that Prime Minister Johnson was withdrawing the UK from the Erasmus+programme. He wants to replace it with his own British exchange program, named after mathematician Alan Turing. The Turing scheme was to be launched in September.
However, the UK’s trading partners were not set up by Johnson’s decision. If it depends on the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, they will continue to participate in Erasmus+. They’re currently exploring their options. Further participation must be “via the UK”, said the Welsh minister Williams. The fact that the three countries no longer belong to the European Union should not in itself pose a problem.
Minister Williams calls The Turing programme a poor substitute for Erasmus+. “I’m exploring all options in order to ensure that Welsh young people are not worse off because of this decision, the government did not have to do,” she said. Williams also looks at the possibilities to improve the Turing program.
Britain, the largest of the four countries in the UK, does not have its own government and parliament and is governed directly by the Johnson government.