ON 23 June 2016 the people of north-west Hampshire centred on Andover and surrounding villages, no doubt influenced by their MP together with a substantial number of other Hampshire MPs voted in line with the national sentiment to leave the EU.

Throughout the rest of Hampshire the number of MPs effectively betraying their party and prime minister at the time were equally split with the loyal Remainers.

The people of this country are now faced with a mistake of seismic historic proportions.

With only a few months to go before we officially leave the EU the people of northwest Hampshire, together with the rest of the country, have very little idea how it will work out for them or their businesses. They do know, however already, that their European holidays cost a further 15 to 20 per cent more as a result of the weakness of the pound against the Euro and other currencies.

They are also aware that since the referendum billions of pounds have been spent or allocated on employing or deploying thousands of civil servants to unravel the myriad of fiscal, legal and territorial implications involved in the transfer of EU laws.

They are also being told that the divorce settlement bill is estimated to be a staggering £49 billion!

As a result, only last week, the leader of Hampshire County Council reported how the dramatic effort of government cutbacks in funding to local government is having on their ability to provide support for our essential services. Likewise.

those hundreds of businesses who are based in the Andover area are indeed concerned as to how the vital trading arrangements currently in place with the rest of Europe will continue.

Our farmers and other employed in the agricultural sector have every reason to worry about their future and how the vital but complicated grant structure will go forward.

There are many Hampshire based research organisations who have benefitted from EU funding programmes also face an uncertain future.

Finally, let us be reminded that since 1945, apart from the Balkans conflict, we have enjoyed peace and security throughout a united Europe and its member states. We owe it to future generations which includes the vast majority of younger people who voted remain to ensure our ongoing relationship with the rest of Europe. I pose the question that had the proponents of Brexit told the truth to the people of north-west Hampshire might they have adopted a different stance when, within their wisdom and seated in the armchair of hindsight, they would have adopted a different stance when they voted to leave?

Michael J Woodhall, former deputy leader of Hampshire County Council, Stockbridge.