Teaching (like nursing) has always been a good profession for those who like to travel and experience life in other countries, whether within or outside Europe, as Kent Brooks rightly points out (Letters, Dec 27 ‘Work abroad still an option’).

But if, like me, you were a small manufacturing company in pre-union days, sending machines overseas was a daunting business.

Export documentation, different electrical and safety regulations to comply with – quite apart from language difficulties. All became much more straightforward with membership of the EU.

Furthermore, the fact that we were part of a common European system made exports to other parts of the world more straightforward since its technical standards were becoming more internationally accepted.

The European Union is, of course, about much more than commerce: it was brought into existence primarily to resist the nationalism that was largely responsible for two wars that had blighted the previous half century.

I don’t know how old Dr Brooks is, but if he is my near-contemporary he may remember going to primary school every day with a gas-mask over his shoulder, and being hurriedly marched into concrete shelters by our teachers when the air-raid sirens started up.

That’s one duty we do not want to be required of our teachers of the future.

Bill Angus