Home Business News Labour vote against Lib Dems proposals for an Erasmus Style scheme for London

Labour vote against Lib Dems proposals for an Erasmus Style scheme for London

by LLB political Reporter
26th Jan 24 6:22 am

London Liberal Democrats attempted to amend the Mayor of London’s budget today to include a pilot of a London Erasmus-style programme for young people across the capital.

The proposal would have seen £600,000 drawn from the Mayor’s Business Rates Reserves to fund a year-long pilot of an Erasmus-style youth exchange and volunteering programme for young Londoners.

However, despite cross-party support from the Green Group on the London Assembly, the Labour Group voted the amendment down while the Conservative Group abstained meaning the proposal did not pass.

The UK Conservative Government withdrew the UK from the EU’s ERASMUS+ programme in 2021, despite it not being a necessary condition of the UK’s exit from the EU and the programme having many non-EU members.

The Liberal Democrats have highlighted how precedence for such a scheme has already been set in devolved administrations across the UK where in 2021, the Liberal Democrat Education Minister in Wales led the introduction of the ‘Taith’ international learning and exchange programme.

Leader of the London Assembly Liberal Democrats Caroline Pidgeon AM said, “Following the Brexit vote in 2016, London’s leading role in Europe and across the world was significantly damaged. We know for a fact that most Londoners did not vote for this change, and young Londoners especially were against the move and have lost out the most.

“This situation was worsened by the UK Conservative Government’s decision to withdraw from the EU’s Erasmus student exchange programme. A decision that wasn’t even necessary to complete Brexit, but one that was forced through seemingly out of spite.

“Our amendment today would have done something proactive to give young Londoners back some of what they have lost for a relatively modest amount of money from the Mayor’s budget.

“Sadiq Khan has spent the last few weeks trying to convince Liberal Democrat voters and people who care about internationalism to vote for him at the elections in May, yet here today, London Labour has shown that while they talk to talk on Europe and education they do not follow through with action and money on the table.

“The Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up proudly for internationalism and to provide opportunity for young Londoners.”

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