As you no doubt know, the English language is more widely spoken than ever before. Each year, over 500,000 people of all ages come to the UK to improve their English and English language teaching brings in around £1.2 billion in export earnings for the UK annually. Well, it did. Sarah Cooper, the incoming chief executive of English UK, the national association for accredited language centres, said the group had been made aware of “a significant drop in bookings” in some of its 460 member centres during the referendum campaign in 2016. The bizarre decision to take the UK out of the EU is destabilising, and it feels to us isolating and bloody-minded. Perhaps, though, we can never see the total picture and there will always be influences on our shared futures which we’re not even aware of. And we can all make a contribution, never knowing if that contribution is the one that allows us to move from fear and division to acceptance and love. Our local Member of Parliament, Tim Farron, is leader of the Liberal Democrat Party. It’s a small Party, at the moment, and possibly one you haven’t heard of. The message from his Party has, since Brexit, been synthesised into 3 words: OPEN, TOLERANT and UNITED.
OPEN means open-hearted, open-minded, forward looking, modern, green, internationalist.
TOLERANT means diverse, compassionate and generous.
UNITED believing we are stronger – as communities, as a country, as a planet – when we work together in our common interest.