MANY readers will, like me, have watched the official opening of the memorial to the more than 22,000 British soldiers who lost their lives in the 1944 Normandy campaign, a region of France with historic ties to England (The Yorkshire Post, June 7).
The memorial is a fitting tribute both to them and to veterans who worked tirelessly to raise the required funds for construction, and I am proud to have taken several hundred young students on visits to the battlefields of both world wars.
Britain and France continue to enjoy deep military co-operation so that recently aircraft carriers from our two countries have taken part in joint exercises far from our shores. The European Football Championships are about to start – hardly anyone would question the European credentials of the participating British teams.
Yet football is essentially confrontational. When it comes to providing genuine social and cultural opportunities for British people to meet other Europeans, the Tories do their best to prevent it. Hence they’ve pulled out of the Erasmus student exchange scheme and new regulations from October 1 will increase the administrative burden on French teachers bringing their pupils for short visits here.
How have we got into a situation whereby Priti Patel acts as if young French teenagers roaming round Canterbury constitute a threat to national sovereignty or an A-level languages student from Leeds working in Lille, Lyons, Leipzig or Ljubljana is somehow disloyal to this country? Yet this is the thrust of the regulations and which would have made the Beatles playing in Hamburg impossible.
I await a justification for this isolationist nonsense from an educated Brexiteer However, given that the jingoistic mind-set of many prevents them from seeing beyond the distorted vision of Shakespeare’s Henry V or the triumph of England’s 1966 World Cup victory, I don’t think that there is much chance of rational debate. No wonder so many young Scots yearn for the freedoms callously and casually taken away by English Tories.
From: James Buick, Northallerton.
I WAS totally moved by the ceremony to honour D-Day and the poignancy as I learned about the last survivors of the Normandy landings. They defined our country’s golden generation. Please don’t dare to compare Gareth Southgate’s footballers to them during the belated Euro 2020. There is no comparison.
Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click here to subscribe.