Skip navigation

Brexit blues for some Remainers who can't get au pairs

You have to feel for some people. For them, Brexit is an utter disaster. They moan about those ignorant working class people who voted to leave the EU last year. Those people living in the wastelands of the North and the Midlands are not educated; they don't understand the nuances; they don't understand the consequences. How could they? They are not as cultured as we are. They don't have second homes in France - they can't even speak French. We drink wine from some of the finest vineyards in the world - they drink strong lager. It really says it all. 

Now the Remoaners have something else to moan about: a lack of au pairs. 

The number of students wishing to come to the UK to look after middle class children in return for a home, food on the table, and some pocket money, is in decline. Some students from other EU countries fail to understand the difference between Europe and the EU. They perceive that we are now anti-foreigner because we don't want to be ruled from Brussels. 

As reported in yesterday's Sunday Times (£):

'Tom Harrison and Catherine Pickstock, professors who live in Cambridge, need au pairs to help care for their three children, because Harrison travels every week. Last year they rewrote the family profile, shown to prospective au pairs, to emphasise the fact they were pro-EU, hoping to encourage applicants. It helped them recruit Milena Wurmer, 19, from Germany, who said: “I knew they were pro-EU so I felt welcome.”'

I suppose that means that she wouldn't feel welcome in my home because my wife and I voted to leave. I'm sure if she thinks about it, she would realise that cultural exchanges were taking place long before the UK joined the EU, and will continue long after we leave. If she, and others, took the time to understand the issues, she would realise there is a difference between not wanting to remain part of an anti-democratic political construct, and closing yourself off from the rest of the continent.

But what is not included in the article is the real reason why so many middle class families voted to remain in last year's referendum. They have done very well out of EU membership, and, in particular, the free movement of people. Although they have the money to pay market rates of pay, they much prefer to get labour on the cheap. Why pay an British nanny a proper salary, when you can get an exchange student to look after your children for £85 a week?

They will say that employing an au pair is great for their children, and great for the au pair, too. Both learn about different cultures. Both have a greater appreciation of the world around them. I agree, but the main reason these middle class people are crying into their claret, is because they are finding it increasingly difficult to get childcare at bargain basement prices. They also fear that they will have to start paying more for their cleaners and for the handymen who do odd jobs around their homes.

Or perhaps many potential au pairs will listen to Halima Darrazi, a French woman from a Muslim family who worked as an au pair in Britain a decade ago. She told the Sunday Times that she is "not worried about racism in the UK. France has always been worse. It’s ridiculous to rule out the UK. Where would they learn English? Maybe America? If people are scared of Brexit, they’d definitely be scared of Trump.”

Donald Trump could become the unlikely saviour of the English middle classes. Who'd have thought it? 

Continue Reading

Read More