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Students urge fresh `people's vote' on Brexit

NUS-USI president Olivia Potter-Hughes

STUDENT leaders are urging a `people's vote' on Brexit warning massive uncertainty remains around university fees.

NUS-USI President Olivia Potter-Hughes said people were denied the full facts and implications on leaving the EU during the 2016 referendum.

She said there were major implications for students and institutions.

UK and Irish universities collaborate extensively, especially under EU research programmes. Growing uncertainty since the Brexit vote has also already affected the flow of students crossing the border for higher education.

It has been reported that Irish students in the UK will not have to pay higher international fees and will still be able to access student loans after Brexit. There remain fears, however, that Irish students will still face non-EU fees, which are about three times greater than EU charges.

Ms Potter-Hughes said in light of the "utter farce and chaos that has engulfed the Brexit process" since the referendum result, the public must be given another chance to have its say.

"It is crucial that we have a people's vote on this issue, because it would be ludicrous to make such a massive decision based upon a narrow margin in the referendum following a campaign where people were not furnished with the full facts and ramifications of Brexit," she said.

"There is still massive uncertainty around the tuition fees that students studying on a cross border basis will face. Also, if we stay within the Erasmus+ after Brexit there may be none of the current student financial support available, which may make this excellent programme inaccessible to many students.

"We are also worried that the Good Friday Agreement could be undermined, because we are worried that depending on whether you hold a UK or Irish passport, you may have EU rights or may be denied them."

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