Once upon a time in the not so distant past I had young children – they are now twenty-somethings.
As working parents we delighted in inviting young women from Europe to come and join our family as au pairs – we had eight in all over seven years.
Whilst with us they were truly part of the family – attending family events, Christmas celebrations, holidays and days out. We made sure they could attend English lessons, go away on au pair group trips, invite friends and family to stay with us.
In short they got to know what it was like to live in the UK and we got to know about their traditions, way of life and what they liked to eat.
It was a great experience for us as well as them – five out of the eight are still in touch with us.
One settled in the UK and married her boyfriend who she met on a night-out in Leeds and now has three children – I attended the christenings. Another took my 11-year-old daughter on a trip to visit her parents in Germany.
If any of them visit the UK there is an open invitation for them to come and stay – and vice versa.
If we wanted to take on an au pair today it’s not quite so simple and it is a tragedy for young people here and in the rest of Europe that it is no longer so straightforward post Brexit.
What a shame; this small cog in the far bigger wheel of ensuring understanding and openness across our borders for future generations is now needlessly hampered.
It is a sad loss, so until we rebuild this bridge – au revoir les au pairs.
From: Alec Denton, Guiseley.
Mark Casci (The Yorkshire Post, March 23) talks such great sense that I cannot help feeling he should be regularly on your leader pages and not tucked away in the business supplement.
The grossly over-cautious approach to vaccination of some European leaders and senior bureaucrats, has without doubt cost Europe a great many lives and the loss of public trust.
The false fears generated will in turn set back the effective roll-out of the vaccine on the Continent by months, if not years.
The key criteria should always have been the best way to save lives, but instead the EU’s bungling has sadly justified the arguments of our extreme Brexiteers, instead of focussing attention on the main task.
Like Mr Casci I believe we would have been better had we remained in partnership with Europe, but when we were ‘members’, we spent 40 years sniping and complaining from the back instead of leading from the front, we reap what we sowed.