Guy Verhofstadt sparks backlash online after jibe at Brexiteers’ ‘anti-EU ideology’

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The Erasmus scheme, an EU programme to help students study in other European countries, will not be accessible to UK students post-Brexit. In response to the reports, Guy Verhofstadt tweeted: “A real pity if British young people, who are Europeans at heart, are denied access to the ERASMUS programme because of the anti – EU ideology of Brexiteers. We are all Europeans.

“Our young people should inherit opportunities, not barriers!”

This drew the wrath of many online.

One responded saying: “The EU isn’t Europe Guy”.

Another said: “Guy we are not anti-Europe, in fact, we are great travellers to European countries.

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“We just don’t want to be a part of a very expensive talk shop.”

A third wrote: “We are all Europeans; we are not all members of the EU, an organisation that has achieved absolutely nothing!”

But, some Twitter followers were more complimentary of Mr Verhofstadt’s opinion.

One said: “Absolutely Guy, my daughter benefitted enormously from Erasmus.

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“It’s a fantastic opportunity for young people to widen their views.”

The Erasmus scheme will be problematic post-Brexit as there will be a new immigration regime for students to take into account.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, speaking to the European Parliament’s UK Coordinating Group, said the UK would have to participate fully in the Erasmus programme to gain access to it after December 31.

Mr Barnier said the UK was trying to “cherry-pick” the parts of the scheme they liked but deny committing to other parts.

Officials from the UK said they were developing an alternative to Erasmus as a “contingency measure”.

The scheme allows students to study abroad elsewhere in Europe.

Starting in 1987, it includes 4,000 participating institutions across Europe.

The current Erasmus scheme is estimated to bring in £243m per year to the UK’s economy.

It also allows around 17,000 British young people to attend other EU universities per year.

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