As noted at ESU BM 71, ESU noted with sadness the result of the referendum on EU membership held on 23rd of June 2016, which committed the UK to leave the European Union. However, this was not the view of the vast majority of students living in the UK. Indeed, NUS-UK voted clearly to support remaining in the European Union. Despite that, NUS UK’s approach is so far to ensure that we get the best deal for all students. This means that we not only need to maintain our current relationships and collaborations but that we need to make sure that we secure the conditions for those relationships to positively thrive.
ESU supports NUS-UK’s three key negotiating principles; that European students should not be used as bargaining chips, that student mobility around Europe is integral to transformational experiences and that students should not be made to suffer because of the harmful rhetoric around Brexit.
ESU welcomes NUS UK’s call for a special status for EU students and academics in the UK and British students and academics within EU countries, the preservation of Erasmus or an alternative programme as part of the Brexit negotiations and the removal international students from the UK’s net migration figures.
ESU notes with concern, the repeated stalling in negotiations between the European Union and British Government.
ESU recognises USI’s position, that a hard border on the Island of Ireland would have devastating consequences on communities, businesses and families either side the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. ESU also recognises the consequences a hard border would have on students in regards freedom of movement, possible increases in tuition fees; and access to research funding and the Erasmus+ programme.
ESU demands that any solution regarding the UK’s exit from the EU does not involve a hard border on the Island of Ireland.
Following a meeting in Dublin yesterday, EU President Donald Tusk quoted the motto of the Union of Students in Ireland, “Ní neart go cur le chéile” Meaning, “There is no strength without unity”. ESU does not want Brexit to weaken collaboration and cooperation and want to send a message to negotiators on both sides that we want collaborations between students to continue to thrive.