Home Brexit Labour vote down proposals for an Erasmus style exchange scheme for London

Labour vote down proposals for an Erasmus style exchange scheme for London

by LLB political Reporter
22nd Feb 24 3:45 pm

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 Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also refused to commit to piloting such a scheme when questioned directly by London Assembly Members earlier in the morning, despite a similar scheme being successfully introduced in Wales.

The Liberal Democrats have said that Labour’s vote shows that despite the Mayor’s warm words about wanting to “free young people from the constraints of Brexit” none of his mammoth £20.5 billion budget is going to support young Londoner’s ambitions to learn abroad, or to foster European ties.

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, “The UK may no longer be a part of the EU, but London is, and always will be, a European City.’ – That’s a quote from our Mayor, Sadiq Khan, in December 2023.

“Yet today the Mayor has finalised his mammoth £20.5 billion budget. And there’s not a penny anywhere to support young Londoner’s ambitions to learn abroad, or to foster European ties.

“The Liberal Democrats brought forward a realistic, fully costed proposal to introduce a pilot of an Erasmus-style exchange programme for young Londoners that would have allowed them to regain some of the opportunities lost because of the callousness of this Conservative Government.

“Sadly, neither the Mayor nor the Labour Group on the London Assembly would support this initiative, despite a similar scheme having proved successful already in Wales. The Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign to rebuild our global relations and to give our young people the very best opportunities.”

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