FORMER Deputy HCC leader, Michael Woodhall, and Philip Nield's supporting letter (Letters October 12, ‘If truth were told’ and October 19, ‘Another option’ respectively) make some perfectly valid points in favour of remaining in the EU.

I actually agree with many of the issues they raise. Yes, Brexit will definitely result in short term disruption, European holidays will cost more and grant structures for farmers will probably change. However, we should look at the big picture not short-term expediency.

Democracy matters and Britain is one of the oldest democracies in the world — it is in our national DNA. The EU is not a democratic institution. It has subjugated democracy to unaccountable bureaucracy. It is a completely different animal to what we originally agreed to join; 'The Common Market'.

This promoted free trade amongst sovereign nations of equivalent economic standing – an unequalled recipe for peace and economic prosperity. Sadly, it was hijacked by the vanity of politicians who wanted ‘the project’: a political Union with a common currency, common political rules and now, it seems, a common army; effectively a European Empire to rival the US and China.

Countries with unequal economies were enticed to join and, with astounding economic illiteracy, to adopt the Euro. When this inevitably proved catastrophic, as in the case of Greece, it was the ordinary people, the pensioners, the young families, the working people, who paid the price. Now we face a similar potential disaster in Italy.

I understand the passion that the French and particularly the Germans have for bonding the European nations together in a union that prevents a repetition of the terrible wars of the last century. Had the project remained an economic free trade area of ‘aligned’ countries then this ideal might have been achieved. It fell apart when it became the European Union. Now, we have strife; Hungary rebelling over migrants, the rise of the far right, the Italians facing an uncertain future and the Germans quietly but increasingly angry that they are bankrolling the rest of Europe whilst themselves being accused of 'bullying' the southern member states.

So, my question to Michael Woodhall and Philip Nield is this. What matters more, the next five years or the next 50?

Maureen Treadwell, Chilbolton.