On 23 June 2016, the British public voted for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union with a majority of 51.9% and a turnout of 72.2%. Since then, only few details of HM Government’s plan for “Brexit” have emerged. In part, this delay is owed to the Prime Minister’s policy of non-disclosure, but has also been affected by the long-awaited decision of the Supreme Court regulating that Parliament need be consulted on triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. A bill to this effect has been approved by the House of Commons on 8 February 2017, and will now be considered by the House of Lords.
In view of these events and owing to the as yet unspecified possibility of changes to regulations in the education and research sector, a number of learned societies including the Philological Societies have drafter a letter of response to “Brexit” and its impact on language and language learning in the United Kingdom.
The letter calls on HM Government to develop a language policy emphasising four points:
- Foster a positive public attitude towards language, language learning and working with languages.
- Maintain and enlarge the UK’s international diplomatic, regulatory, and security networks.
- Encourage the development of multilingual skills at all stages of the National Curriculum.
- Provide for research on language as on of many aspects of human nature and society.
The Society looks to its members for comments on this statement in the comments section. The full text of the letter can be found below. Continue reading “PhilSoc and other learned societies react to Brexit”