What could Boris Johnson’s election as UK Prime Minister mean for your Erasmus?

According to the latest updates, the UK is due to leave the EU at 11 pm UK time on 31 October 2019.  With the election of the new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, this matter is getting even more urgent.

You have just signed your Erasmus agreement and you were ready and excited to start this amazing experience… So what about your placement now?

We’ll try to explain what the current situation is, what could happen with Brexit, and why there’s NO NEED TO WORRY about your Erasmus!

 

THE CURRENT SITUATION

On the 7th of June, Theresa May announced she would resign as Prime Minister after her Brexit deal had been rejected multiple times by the parliament. This was followed by a competition about who will lead the country in these difficult times and it ended on the 23rd of July with the Election of Boris Johnson as new Prime Minister. In his victory speech, Mr Johnson has emphasised that Brexit will be immediately a central concern, given the impending deadline to leave in October. In other occasions he claimed that the U.K. must leave the EU on October “do or die, come what may.” So what does that mean? What could happen to the Erasmus?

 

Three different scenarios may occur:

 

1. THE UK AGREES ON A DEAL

Mr Johnson may want to renegotiate the Brexit deal and put forward an arrangement of his own with Brussels by Oct. 31. European Union leaders have said repeatedly that they will not reopen negotiations and that the Withdrawal Agreement reached with Mrs. May is the only one they will consider. This agreement includes the £39billion divorce bill, the Irish Backstop and guarantees the rights of EU citizens. However, Boris Johnson has said the £39billion should be held in “creative ambiguity” and should be used as a negotiating tool to get a better deal.

 

What does it mean to your Erasmus:

You will still be able to study in the UK through the Erasmus+ scheme up to and throughout 2020/21, when the current scheme ends.

  • For 2019 applications already passed, the process of assessment, selection and contracting will continue as usual.
  • For remaining 2019 deadlines, students intending to submit applications for funding should continue to apply as planned.

 

2. THE UK LEAVES WITH NO DEAL

In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, there would be no transition period for the country. This would mean new customs and tariff barriers as well as less advantageous trade and transport links between the EU and UK. The consequences could severely affect the country and therefore a no-deal Brexit is only a “Plan B”. In this scenario, the solution provided by Mr Johnson is a controversial proposal: he will try to rely on a section of World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules – known as Article 24– to mitigate the effects of no deal on the UK economy.

 

What does it mean to your Erasmus:

In the case of a no-deal Brexit, the government assured that the UK will engage with the Commission with the aim of securing the UK’s continued full participation in Erasmus and ESC until 2020. The government thus aims to minimise the impact on projects in a no deal scenario.

  • You should not terminate or make any modifications to your Erasmus agreement. The government will keep participants updated on any changes.

 

3. THE UK ASKS FOR MORE TIME

Some people believe that the current situation is very similar to the situation in March and that the Prime Minister could end up asking for extra time in October.

 

What does it mean to your Erasmus:

In this case you should be able to undertake your Erasmus programme just as planned until new information is available.

  • You can always check new updates about the Brexit consequences on the Erasmus website.
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