Blog: Scotland to set up own ‘Erasmus scheme’ after Brexit cost place in EU project – The National

Ministers and civil servants are holding discussions about the scheme with members of the European Parliament and the European Commission.

Some of the work is being undertaken by the Scottish Government’s hubs based in Brussels, Berlin, Paris and Dublin.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson controversially withdrew the UK from the EU Erasmus initiative, which offered university student exchanges as well as school links and work experience, as part of its Brexit deal struck last year.

He established the successor £105 million Turing scheme, but both Scottish and Welsh ministers wanted their two countries to remain in the EU programme, saying the new Turing initiative lacked some key Erasmus benefits.

READ MORE: Scottish Government reveals details of £8m international offices bill

Turing only offers British students a chance to study overseas and does not offer a package of financial support to students from the EU or elsewhere to study in the UK.

Senior SNP politicians met with their counterparts in Brussels to try to keep Scotland in Erasmus, however, in February this year Ursula von der Leyen (below), the commission president ruled out individual membership for Scotland and Wales.

The National:

Ministers in Edinburgh intend that the new scheme would work alongside Turing and also make up for any of its shortcomings. It is also in addition to the Scottish Government’s recently announced Saltire Scholarship programme allowing EU nationals to study in Scotland.

“We remain committed to Erasmus+ and are exploring how to re-secure Scotland’s access to it. In the interim we are developing a Scottish Education Exchange Programme to support participants from across Scotland’s education system.

“Post-Brexit, we are determined to strengthen and repair our institutions’ international links through exchange programmes and scholarships,” Minister for Higher and Further Education Jamie Hepburn told the Sunday National.

“The UK Government’s Turing scheme is a watered-down imitation of Erasmus+ which will see support for our most disadvantaged learners cut, and opportunities for all our students, staff and young people reduced.

READ MORE: The fatal design flaw in UK’s Erasmus-replacing ‘Turing scheme’

“The scheme’s application results highlight the need for the Scottish Government to consider how best to offer staff and learners further opportunities for mobility exchange.”

It is not clear when the Scottish scheme will launch and which universities will take part with planning still at an early stage.

The Government said the new programme will help maintain Scotland’s place as “an outward-looking, internationally connected destination for work and study” and that further steps will be announced in due course.

“The Scottish Government recognises the importance of reciprocal educational mobility. We remain committed to Erasmus+ and will continue to engage with the European Parliament and European Commission on how we can maximise our institutions’ access to the EU programme,” a statement said.

Wales announced earlier this year that it was setting up its own £65m “international learning exchange” to succeed Erasmus.

A spokesperson for Universities Scotland welcomed the Erasmus-style plan. “We support the Turing scheme as it was mobilised quickly and avoided there being a gap in opportunities for outward mobility for students following Brexit. We now need to see a long-term commitment made to the scheme in next week’s spending review,” she said.

“Scotland has benefitted so much from the inward flow of students as part of the Erasmus scheme.

We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to the development of something new and it is encouraging if conversations are now happening with Brussels. Universities want to be a pro-active partner in this and we’d like to see a scheme develop on a par with the scale of ambition delivered by the Welsh Assembly.”

Blog: Reaction as Museum of Brexit set to open in Boston or Peterborough – The London Economic

A Museum of Brexit is to open in Boston or Peterborough in the next two years, according to reports in The Telegraph.

The locations have emerged as the preferred sites out of a shortlist of 50 potential locations.

People in both areas voted overwhelmingly to leave in the 2016 EU Referendum, with 76 per cent voting out in Boston – earning the south Lincolnshire town the title of Britain’s Brexit capital.

The museum aims to tell a fair and balanced story of Brexit, as well as chronicling Britain’s economic and political links to Europe since the 1950s.

Lee Rotherham, a former special projects director at Vote Leave and a trustee of the museum, told The Telegraph: “In the end, we have decided that the two buildings most suitable for our needs are in the town of Boston in Lincolnshire or the city of Peterborough.

“Both of these buildings would match the requirements of the museum in display space, archive space, and the ability to run educational programmes.

“What is vital is that this project is sustainable, financially and historically. We are not looking at the next 10 years, we are looking at the next 100.”

The Museum of Brexit was awarded charitable status by the Charity Commission in April this year, which means it can begin fundraising for the £1 million needed to open its doors.

But reaction on social media has been fierce.

Here’s what people had to say:

Related: The real reason the Conservatives continue to poll well

Blog: Meet the Remoaners taking over the taxpayer-funded ‘Festival of Brexit’ –

Enthusiastic Remainers are taking advantage of what was originally dubbed a “festival of Brexit” by Jacob Rees-Mogg in 2018. The plans for “Unboxed – Creativity in the UK”, originally called “Festival UK 2022”, were finally published by Nadine Dorries’ Culture department this week.

Unboxed insists that its projects were commissioned “following an open call and a rigorous selection process” and will be delivered by “hundreds of people” with “a variety of opinions and perspectives”. But one beneficiary that will raise eyebrows is Tour de Moon – “a series of festivals, satellite events, nightlife experiences and a travelling convoy inspired by and, in collaboration with, the moon” (whatever that means). 

Tour de Moon’s director, Nelly Ben Hayoun-Stépanian, must be delighted to take part. Days after Britons voted to leave the EU, she posted a message on social media: “‘F— Brexit’. Could not say it better. Let’s all stand against stupidity, manipulation and lies today.”

The festival is being backed by £120 million of taxpayers’ money. Would a bit of gratitude be too much to ask?


Dame Emma’s lightbulb moment

The Duke of Cambridge’s Earthshot Prize ticked all the green credentials, banning A-listers from flying in especially for the awards show and asking them to wear an old outfit. Low-energy lights lit the stage, and an army of Peloton-style cyclists generated electricity to power a set by virtue -signalling rockers Coldplay at the Alexandra Palace in London.

But the eco-friendly approach did not work for everyone. Dame Emma Thompson’s microphone failed when she was handing out a prize. The Hollywood actress’s excuse was edited out by the television producers. But she told those in the audience that she had managed to damage her microphone in the ladies’ loo in the dim lighting. Or as she put it: “I broke my mic by dropping it down the lav.” That’s (eco) showbiz!


A taxing engagement

Boris Johnson and David Cameron renewed their 35-year-old rivalry at a No 10 dinner on Wednesday to mark the 20th anniversary of them all arriving as MPs at the 2001 general election.

Johnson sat in the middle of the long table in the state dining room, with Cameron at one end and George Osborne, another member of the 2001 intake, at the other in a rare reunion of the Bullingdon Club pals.

Two dozen current and former Conservative MPs – including Lord Barker of Battle and organiser Chris Grayling – were in attendance. The highlight was a speech by the PM. Then Cameron replied on behalf of the guests, saying: “You’re the Prime Minister, I am just a former prime minister – but at least in my day we cut taxes’.”

One eyewitness said: “It was pretty lighthearted. It was not really barbed, it was teasing but this is still going on after 35 years [when they were at Eton together]. It was a convivial evening.”

Johnson will reflect that this kind of teasing – days before the Budget next week – was exactly what he got up to when Cameron was in No 10, and he wasn’t.


Johnson & Johnson

Blog: Expat family in ‘six month Brexit visa wait’ with plan to move to Scotland for work put on hold – Daily Record

An expat and his family trying to move from Romania to Scotland have been warned to expect a six-month wait for a Brexit visa.

Geophysicist Paul Lyon, 41, from the Wirral, said he has been forced to move into a one-bedroom flat in Romania with his wife and two kids.

The dad, who works in the oil and gas sector, said he hoped to move to Aberdeen when his visa was granted for work.

The delays though have left his family in limbo and unable to work.

And his teen stepdaughter is also unable to go to school.

Paul, married to Chilean Elizabeth, 40, said: “When I see Priti Patel claiming visa processes are being cleared within 12 weeks, it makes me so angry.

“We applied in June and are still waiting. Our lawyer has warned us it could take six months.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Each case is considered as quickly as possible and on its individual merits.”

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Blog: Peterborough short-listed for Museum of Brexit – Ely Standard

Peterborough has been short-listed to house a new £1m Museum of Brexit.  

The only other place to get on the short-list is Boston, Lincolnshire. 

A final decision is expected early next year. 

Dr Lee Rotherham, who has led the museum team in finding and appraising the options for a permanent site said, “This has been a long and involved process.  

“Each of the 50 initial locations were put through a matrix of 14 criteria.  

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“This brought the long list down to a point where we could review individual sites on a separate set of fresh criteria relating to the buildings themselves.  

This was a difficult task as there are some remarkable sites out there.  

Peterborough Cathedral,
City Centre , Peterborough
Thursday 30 July 2020.
Picture by Terry Harris.

– Credit: © Terry Harris

He said: “In the end we have decided that the two buildings most suitable for our needs are in the town of Boston in Lincolnshire, or the City of Peterborough.  

“Both of these buildings would match the requirements of the museum in display space, archive space, and the ability to run educational programs.  

“What is vital is that this project is sustainable, financially and historically. We are not looking at the next 10 years, we are looking at the next hundred.” 

He said talks were ongoing to create a museum “that will be able to talk about the history of Brexit, but also the longer story of the United Kingdom’s sovereignty”. 

City Centre Sunset,
City Centre , Peterborough
Friday 31 July 2020.
Picture by Terry Harris.

– Credit: Terry Harris

Dr Rotherham says it will also reflect international ties of trade and culture and the “personal stories that bring this epoch-making period of our history to life”. 

He says The Museum of Brexit is supported by many on both sides of the referendum question, and aims to provide a fair and balanced view of the campaign and what led up to the campaign.  

The Museum of Brexit will contain a library and archive collection for academics and provides “apolitical support on matters relating to Brexit, especially within the EU itself.” 

The museum won charity commission status earlier this year and is now looking to raise the cash it needs.  

In Peterborough 61 per cent voted leave: in Boston 76 per cent voted leave.  

If funding is secured the museum could open as early as 2023.  

Blog: Finance bosses warn of more job moves as Brexit exodus ‘picks back up’ – Financial News

Around half of senior finance executives polled by Big Four accountancy EY expected Brexit to drive more jobs out of London, despite prime minister Boris Johnson’s claims that the City remains an attractive destination for bankers to continue doing business.

EY asked 43 bosses at London’s banks, asset managers and insurance firms in mid-October if they expected their firms to shift more people or assets to the European Union as a result of the UK’s split from the bloc. Just under half, or 48%, said such moves were likely,…