Negotiators have not been able to reach an agreement on the issue, with the EU’s Michel Barnier accusing the UK of trying to “cherry-pick” aspects of the scheme. Erasmus permits students to study abroad elsewhere in Europe, more than over 4,000 institutions across the bloc participating.
Mr Vefhofstadt, the European Parliament’s former Brexit representative, made it quite clear where he felt the blame lay.
He posted: “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!”
He said: “Erasmus has 22 non-EU partner countries in Europe and the Mediterranean and allows all other countries to access some of it.
“Why exclude the UK? As you say, we are all Europeans. Perhaps the UK is more European than the EU.
Steve King argued: “Guy once again confusing the EU with Europe.
“Are Moldovan, Norwegian and Icelandic young people not European at heart?
“Also, an MEP, you could always propose to your unelected paymasters in the commission that ERASMUS should be available to all students who reside in Europe.”
Axel Thill declared: “Again a misleading statement by @guyverhofstadt
“It is the EU who denies access to young people if they do not opt into EU’s desire of a political union. Change your EU goals, and Europe will be a better place.”
Not everybody disagreed with the Belgian, however.
Cathie Wood said: “It’s so sad. It worries me that the younger generation who are strongly pro-European will lose their belief in Europe if they are excluded from it and then we will never rejoin. What can be done?”
Teresa Doyle added: “My daughter benefitted hugely from Erasmus, it opened up her life, her job prospects and she learnt so much.
“She is a proud European, now living in Europe and has enjoyed many different countries and experiences.
“It is heartbreaking to think others won’t.”