UK snubs EU over youth mobility scheme

01:28

The UK government has ruled out any post-Brexit deal with the EU that would make it easier for young Britons to live, study and work in the bloc, a government spokesman said on Saturday.

The European Commission this week called for the 27 EU nations to open negotiations on a “youth mobility scheme” for UK citizens aged 18-30.

But the UK, which has individual youth mobility schemes with 13 countries, including Australia, Canada, San Marino, Iceland and Monaco, said it preferred bilateral arrangements with individual countries over an EU-wide deal.

The UK left the European student exchange scheme Erasmus after Brexit. //Hoch Zwei Stock/Angerer

The UK left the European student exchange scheme Erasmus after Brexit. //Hoch Zwei Stock/Angerer

“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,” a government spokesman said.

The UK was open to agreeing youth mobility schemes with its “international partners”, including individual EU member states.

The opposition Labour Party has also ruled out the possibility of an EU-wide scheme, saying it would seek to improve the UK’s working relationship with the bloc within its red lines — “no return to the single market, customs union or free movement.”

The UK left the European student exchange scheme Erasmus after Brexit, but the commission said that, should it wish to rejoin, it remained “open” to the idea.

The European Commission’s proposal envisages setting university fees in the UK and the bloc at the same level for EU and UK students, as before Brexit. 

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According to the EU executive, tuition for non-UK residents at UK universities now averages £22,000 ($27,400) a year, compared to around £9,000 ($11,135) for residents.

Under the plan, young EU and UK citizens would be able to stay in the country of their choice for up to four years and visa fees would not be “excessive”.

Currently a young person from the EU seeking to study in the UK must pay £490 ($606) while a skilled worker visa costs between £719 ($890) and £1,639, ($2,028) the commission said.

There is also an extra cost for healthcare running into hundreds of pounds that the commission wants to scrap.

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Source(s): AFP