Blogs > John Glen Salisbury MP Diary > 16th January 2020

16th January 2020

15th January 2020

Parliament has returned to the normal business of bringing forward and passing legislation.

Inevitably, some of the first pieces of legislation brought forward have involved replacing EU obligations with our own UK undertakings.

One example was the right of child refugees to be reunited with their families in this country.

I am realistic enough to know that different people will view the government’s intentions with differing degrees of cynicism, depending on where their political allegiances lie.

However, it was surprising and alarming to see how many sincere people were ready to believe that the removal of the Dubs amendment meant the government was turning its back on child asylum seekers.

Of course, that is not what the legislation says or does, contrary to what some reports would have you believe.

Government policy on family reunion for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children has not changed one iota. 

We are Europe’s third-highest intake country – and proudly so. But it is no longer necessary to negotiate our intake through the EU. The new clause simply allows the Government to communicate its intentions directly to Parliament, cutting red tape.

Going forward, a number of EU arrangements will need to be removed but it is absurd to suggest that they will not be replaced. Any scheme that does good and sets desirably high standards must and will be replaced with our own equivalent – at least as good or, in many cases, even better. 

In another example, there has been a great deal of anxiety generated by headlines loudly proclaiming that UK students ‘could’ no longer be able to study abroad.

This is in spite of assurances from ministers that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU absolutely does not mean the end of our relationship with our academic counterparts in Europe or the rest of the world. 

To that end, UK participation in Erasmus+ will remain unchanged during the implementation period and the Government will engage with the EU to secure continued participation in Erasmus+. 

International study can be transformational and help young people develop language skills, cultural awareness, life chances and employability. 

The UK has been closely involved in the development of the current Erasmus+ programme but is also keen to develop ambitious and truly global alternatives. 

Posted by John Glen at 1:26pm

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