Well, it’s decided. We have left the EU. In my book a sad day and a national error to leave a body which has given Herefordshire and the UK economic growth and peace for nearly 50 years as members.

Many in the county passionately feel the opposite, of course, but we know we will suffer economically (more so in already relatively less wealthy counties like Herefordshire) for years to come until and if we recover from the massive disruption.

Even Rees-Mogg admitted it might take up to 30 years. A very high-risk gamble compared with the known EU benefits.

As an optimist I certainly hope we can make a success of leaving, but it is going to be very tough for any trade deals to equal, never mind improve on, the estimated 10 times our EU payments value we earned as members.

As the LibDem candidate in the election for Herefordshire North, I represented a party believing EU membership is crucial for our long-term success, both for local economies like ours and as a nation grappling with huge problems facing the world – like climate change – which can only be successfully tackled by ever closer cooperation between countries, not more division.

I will be amongst those working to make the best of our decision locally, but In the meantime I’d like to say many thanks to all those in North Herefordshire who voted for me and the LibDems in the general election.

Phillip Howells

Have your say. Email letters@herefordtimes.com