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UK Government and Labour Party criticised after snubbing talks on EU-wide youth mobility scheme

21 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Liz Saville Roberts

Plaid Cymru has accused the UK Government, and the Labour Party of limiting “young people’s horizons” after they ruled out a deal that would make it easier for youngsters to live, study and work in the EU.

The European Commission said on Thursday it would seek permission from EU member states to open negotiations on a “youth mobility scheme” for UK citizens aged 18-30, and begin to “rebuild bridges” following Brexit and the UK Government’s decision to withdraw from the Erasmus scheme.

But a UK Government spokesperson said there was no interest from the UK side, adding that “free movement within the EU was ended”.

The UK currently has individual youth mobility schemes with 13 countries, and the Government said it preferred such bilateral arrangements over an EU-wide deal.

Labour also rejected the possibility of an EU-wide scheme, saying the party would “seek to improve the UK’s working relationship with the EU within our red lines – no return to the single market, customs union or free movement”.

The Welsh Government also said it remains “fully committed” to its Taith learning exchange programme after the European Commission plans were announced.

The £65 million Taith scheme was launched in 2022 in order to compensate for the withdrawal from Erasmus after Brexit.

Short sighted

Responding to the European Commission’s offer being rejected, Plaid Cymru Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts said: “Both Westminster parties are determined to limit young people’s horizons.

“The Tories and Labour have both officially rejected an offer by the EU for young people to be able to live, work or study across Europe for up to four years. Out-of-hand rejection displays the short-sightedness of both parties.

“Plaid Cymru would restore opportunities ripped away from our young people. It would be in everyone’s interests for the UK to negotiate a youth mobility scheme with the EU and rejoin Erasmus as a full member.

“Young people in Wales are outward-looking. They did not vote for Brexit – indeed many were denied a vote. They shouldn’t suffer due to the poor decisions of politicians in Westminster.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “We are not introducing an EU-wide Youth Mobility Scheme – free movement within the EU was ended and there are no plans to introduce it.

“We have successful schemes with 13 countries, including Australia and New Zealand, and remain open to agreeing them with our international partners, including individual EU member states, where it’s in the UK’s interest and supports the skills and opportunities of our youth.”


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Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

It appears whichever party is in charge in Westminster the results are the same – shun virtually anything to do with the EU. It’s blind and stupid and it’s economically hurting us. Why can’t there be an agreement regarding youth movement? What is Westminster scared of? Undoubtedly, the answer is our children will see the benefits of the EU for themselves and they are the future. Stopping them doing so will not stop the end of Brexit, just delay it. Closer cooperation with the EU is imperative if we are to have a prosperous, secure country in the future.

Annibendod
Annibendod
1 month ago

In the meantime, Keir Starmer has written in the Telegraph about how Labour is now the English patriotic party and criticised party members saying they shouldn’t flinch from waving the St George and Union flags. Can we now stop the pretence that this is a progressive, Left Wing party please! Starmer has clearly marched them into Centre Right territory and is continuing to drift rightwards. Do not forget that here is a man who has blocked electoral reform, who has rejected any meaningful constitutional reform. He is an overtly Anglo-British Nationalist. He is also a whopping great big hypocrite. This… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Annibendod
Iago Traferth
Iago Traferth
1 month ago
Reply to  Annibendod

Well done Keir our next Prime Minister.

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

Problem is next GE you vote out the Cons, then deal with Starmer. That means my option is Labour (if it is Plaid on a win then I would be voting plaid in my area but reality is Labour). Then I write to the probably new MP and ask him several questions indicating direction, my existing car crash MP, Wallis, just does boiler plate whips replies.

I think the “english” comment is aimed at St Georges day.

I don’t like what I am hearing but then I don’t want to see repeats of Truss, Johnson, Braverman, 30p…..

CapM
CapM
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

“I don’t like what I am hearing but then I don’t want to see repeats of Truss, Johnson, Braverman, 30p…..”

A vote for any Unionist party ensures you will get a repeat sooner or later.
Possibly as soon as the election after next if England decides Keir hasn’t delivered enough for it.

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
1 month ago

I just see this as something that cannot be discussed before a GE as they are all petrified of reopening old wounds but suspect that if the Cons lose it will be implemented fairly quickly afterwards.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

I empathise with Plaid’s Liz Saville-Roberts frustration. You have English imperialist Conservatives deliberately damaging Wales & Britain out of their little England ideology that Europe needs us more they we do it bull**** , who still think Britain (see Britain read England) is still a world power and have industries worth crowing about where in reality Thatcher sold off all the family silver for short term gain that’s now caused long-term pain. And there’s Labour under cardboard Conservative Keir Starmer, who like a hermit crab has crawled into the shell vacated by the Tories when they became a far-right fascists… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

“Who like a hermit crab has crawled…” Bendigedig!

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

Little Britain mentality all around 🇬🇧
Inward looking and pandering to a post colonial view of anything “ abroad “

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