The EU, the SNP and student fees – why is the Mail not having a field day?

Guest Blog by Alex Rowley
Reaction to the tuition fees debate has been in the papers a lot recently. The UK government voted in favour of raising the fees to a minimum of £6,000 and maximum of £9,000 in exceptional cases. In Wales it was confirmed that these rises would not be taking place, in Scotland it is under review but still free and Northern Ireland may follow the Welsh lead of keeping fees the same for those resident there.

The EU has not been in the news recently but to jog your memory, institutions must charge EU students the same as local students. So while those from Gretna are charged the same as those from Guttenberg for attending the University of Aberdeen, those from Berwick-upon-Tweed are not.

Gretna and Guttenberg pay the same because Gretna is local and Guttenberg is EU; Berwick is English. As a constituent part of the UK, England is not an EU nation and therefore it’s students are not protected. Coverage amounts to a mention in the Telegraph on October 13th and the Daily Mail ran a piece on October 31st. Surely we should see those rags of the right foaming at the mouth: the EU, the West Lothian question and the SNP all in one neat little story where the residents of little England are the victims?

A law suit was threatened a few years ago but the challenge was never brought, maybe with the disparity now larger than it was we’ll see it surface once again.

Or maybe pictures of masked youths and pretty girls provide a far better starting point for articles and comment pieces, Daniel Hannan must be on holiday.

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