CIOL supports #BrexitLanguages campaign

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Modern Languages has just launched Brexit and Languages: A checklist for Government negotiators and officials.

The cross-party group of MPs and peers urge the Government to put plans in place now to avoid a post-Brexit languages crisis. The group warns that trade talks after leaving the European Union will need more UK officials with language skills, saying that the lack of language ability loses the UK an estimated 3.5% of economic performance.

The campaign highlights four essential language-specific objectives of the Brexit process:

  1. Guaranteeing residency status for EU nationals already living in the UK and safeguarding future recruitment of EU citizens to address the shortage of language skills;
  2. Continuing full UK participation in the Erasmus+ programme (noting the examples of Norway and Switzerland);
  3. Committing to legislate to replicate the rights enshrined in the 2010 European Directive on the Right to Interpretation and Translation in Criminal Proceedings;
  4. A post-Brexit plan in education (from primary school to post-graduate research, including apprenticeships), business and the civil service, with specific actions to ensure the UK produces sufficient linguists to meet its future requirements as a leader in global free trade and on the international stage.

The APPG on Modern Languages this week presents the document to the leaders of the main political parties, MPs and peers.

Baroness Coussins, Co-Chair of the APPG on Modern Languages and CIOL Vice-President, said: “Brexit must make the UK’s language skills a top policy issue. Language skills are vital for our exports, education, public services and diplomacy and we will not be able to carry on relying on other EU nationals to plug the gap. The Government has a double challenge: to safeguard crucial current access to language skills and international experience, such as participation in the Erasmus+ programme, and also kick-start a national plan to ensure the UK produces the linguists we need to become a world leader in global free trade and on the international stage.”

Ann Carlisle, CIOL Chief Executive, said: “CIOL welcomes and fully supports this campaign which seeks protection for residency, student exchange, rights of those in court and the study of languages within our education system. Only with these in place are our language professionals and others who use or need languages in their daily lives given a full and proper voice.”

To join CIOL in supporting this campaign on social media, use #BrexitLanguages.

Further information:
Deborah Butler
020 7940 3105

See also:
Campaign standalone website:
APPG MFL website: