I would like to respond to Rachel Fletcher and her ‘open letter to Jeremy Quin’ published in the Letters section of the WSCT on 30 June.
She suggests that school ‘links with other European countries’, ‘study opportunities’, and ‘international scholarly co-operation’ amongst many other related issues will suffer or even come to an end with Brexit.
Let me assure her that these things all existed 50 years ago, long before the UK even joined the then Common Market, let alone the EU. and I’m sure they will continue well into the future despite a changed relationship with the EU.
In my mid-teens, in the mid-1960s, I had an exchange visit with a French student: I stayed with him in his home for about a fortnight; and he stayed with me in our home, and we visited each other’s schools.
I also went on a schools’ holiday, going overland by train to Venice, and then on a schools’ cruise visiting Athens, and Izmir in Turkey, to name but two places. As a family, we went from Sussex to West Germany in a camper van to visit friends - that was 25 years before the Berlin Wall came down.
European opportunities and travel did not begin with the EU - and they won’t end with Brexit. There are far more opportunities for young people and everyone else now than there were 50 years ago: travel is far more frequent, easier and cheaper.
Formalities and regulations may change with Brexit, but those already exist with non-EU countries, and that doesn’t prevent young people taking advantage of the many opportunities in non-EU countries world-wide.
I’m not saying that Brexit won’t cause any changes, but - as has already been demonstrated (for example, by Osborne’s non-existent emergency budget) - ‘Project Fear’ is hugely responsible for suggesting that ‘life as we know’ it will come to an end on leaving the EU.
As the original letter was a copy of a letter sent to Jeremy Quin, I am also copying this letter to him.
The Street, Slinfold
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