My good friend Peter Boulton makes the very valid point that yes, we were indeed able to travel and trade prior to joining the EEC.

But surely this misses the point. By tearing up 45 years of increased harmonisation, cooperation and stripping away of red tape and bureaucracy with our neighbours inside our own continent, we are turning the clock back to the bad old days when we were the sick man of Europe.

Isolated and facing obstruction and barriers wherever we turned. Today we can count on 27 countries as our friends, having common cause and common interests. If Brexit ever actually happens, these 27 will become our enemy and competitor in the commercial world, 450m in opposition to 65m.

We will lose the numerous rights and benefits EU citizenship currently gives us. Today’s freedom to travel, work, study, live within 27 other countries will be lost with such aspirations controlled by the EU without us being allowed a say.

Europeans have already said they will be wary about sharing security information with us once we become an outsider. Already we are losing clout and respect internationally, as Macron said, “The UK has decided to walk off the world stage”.

The EU takes 44% of our trade. Tariffs and loss of consumer goodwill means this is bound to drop and there is little sign that far flung countries will replace it. Will the country collapse post a Brexit? Of course not, the point is that without doubt we will be failing to realise our full potential and will consequently be poorer and less secure out in the cold than as one of the three main players in the world’s largest and most successful economic union. Delivery from the NHS and of public services will be reduced.

The lies and false promises of the Brexit MPs have been fully exposed now since the vote. Now that we know what Brexit means we need a third Referendum. As David Davies said “If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy”. And voters have, as the increasing lead of Remain over Leave shows in the polls.

Christopher Smith

Ashfield House