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NUS Wales warns a No Deal Brexit would be catastrophic for Wales

Monday 17-09-2018 - 00:00

NUS Wales has today launched its Brexit campaign, calling on politicians to ensure that Wales avoids the worst effects of Brexit.

With every day that goes by, it seems increasingly likely that the UK Government will fail to deliver a Brexit deal that avoids the worst effects of Brexit.

So today, NUS Wales has teamed up with the presidents of all of Wales’ university students’ unions, to write to the Prime Minister and the First Minister to tell them that we will not accept a catastrophic No Deal Brexit.

A poll by YouGov on our behalf has found that 73% of people living in Wales want Welsh students to continue to be able to study and work in the EU after Brexit. What’s more, 62% of people who supported Leave agreed!

But a No Deal Brexit could put the future of Erasmus+ at risk. As the UK Government keeps saying, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

So while UK ministers say they want continued access to Erasmus+, we simply can’t trust that they will deliver the goods.

If we get a disastrous No Deal Brexit, we could lose out on:
•    life-changing opportunities for Welsh students;
•    millions in funding for Welsh students;
•    millions in investment in Welsh colleges and universities;
•    millions in research and development investment;
•    fundamental human and industrial rights for Welsh students;
•    future funding for apprenticeships; and
•    the £150 million a year which EU students spend in the Welsh economy.

That’s why we have published our position paper, the UK’s exit from the EU, and sent a copy straight to the Prime Minister, the First Minister, the Cabinet Secretary for Education, the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, the Secretary of State for Wales, all Assembly Members, and all Welsh Members of Parliament.

Theresa May and her government must ensure continued access to Erasmus+. If she fails – which is entirely possible – then the Welsh Government must explore its own options for ensuring that Welsh students don’t miss out.

Our message to politicians is clear: Welsh students want you to stop dithering, and make sure Wales avoids the catastrophic effects of a No Deal Brexit.

We’ve also published an open letter in today’s Western Mail – which we also sent to politicians.

And we’ve sent a Brexit toolkit to all sabbatical officers in Wales, including letters that you can send to your local politicians, motions that you can take to your student council, and a communications plan for you to show your support publicly.

Today, we are also declaring our support for the campaign for a People’s Vote. This isn’t, as some people claim, a ‘second referendum’. It is a vote on the terms of the deal – whether it be good, bad, or non-existent.

At the time of the referendum, the public didn’t fully understand what the worst effects of Brexit would be. We didn’t know that we’d be 6 months away from Brexit, still with no deal. We didn’t realise we’d be on the verge of losing out on so much which we hold dear.

Let’s also not forget that the vast majority of students and young people did not vote for Brexit. We didn’t vote for a dimmer future. Now we know just how bleak things look, we demand to have our say again.

If you’d like to join our campaign, you can download our Brexit toolkit and use the resources inside it. You can also head to our Twitter and Facebook accounts to retweet and share our posts to help spread the message.

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