Mr Basham’s admirably clear letter (28 February) explaining why he voted to leave the European Union deserves a response. He explains that he is offended by the idea of being ruled by the leaders of 27 different nations, but at the present time we, like everyone else in the EU, are ruled by an executive, the commissioners, appointed by the leaders of 28 different nations (not 27 – in other words we have an equal say along with all the other nations). He also objects to the undue influence of the two largest economies, France and Germany, but if they are predominant that is only because we have made no serious effort to work alongside them. The executive, by the way, suggests new laws, but it is the democratically elected European Parliament (with a proportionate number of MEPs from the UK) that votes on them; there was even one occasion in 1999 when the Parliament forced all of the commissioners to resign. 

Very reasonably Mr Basham also objects to scroungers from the EU being free to come here, but in fact immigrants from the EU as a whole contribute more financially to our economy than those from elsewhere and the most recent statistics show that as numbers from the EU have gone down, so the numbers coming from elsewhere has gone up and we already have full control over those numbers. 

Since we already cooperate with other European armies from NATO, I am not quite sure what his objection is to plans for formalising a military organisation which can act independently of the USA’s interests. Certainly, we need to be on our guard against the destabilising influence of Mr Putin’s Russia without being too dependent on Mr Trump. 

Finally, I would argue that it has always been in our interest to be involved in Europe. In the past that has been though frequent wars from the time of the Hundred Years’ War through to two World Wars. How much better to debate our common future round the council table and not on the battlefield! I consider this last point even more important than the serious economic disadvantages of leaving (all those inconvenient facts that are blindly brushed aside as being ‘Project Fear’).

Richard Willmott