FOR a man I once held in high esteem Michael Woodhall’s letter is astonishing (Letters, October 12, ‘If truth be told’).

He plainly doesn’t subscribe to Churchill’s ethos of country before party, nor to that of service, or he would support implementation of the decision of 17.4 million electors rather than talking of a ‘mistake’.

He talks of us not knowing how it will work — it will work as was normal, as he must have experienced, before we joined the EEC.

He talks of costlier EU holidays, the £49bn, Andover businesses, farmers’ support, and grants to research organisations.

For most people the cost of an EU holiday is of little consequence since most of us cannot afford one! The £49bn is a disgrace not a divorce settlement (they owe us money and ongoing rent). Most businesses (with no EU trade) will welcome the abolition of onerous EU regulation; we can increase farm support once controlling 100 per cent of our former contributions to the EU; and EU grants to any UK recipient is just getting our own money back after being recycled through the EU — at a commission rate of about 40 – 50 per cent!

Finally, Michael Woodhall talks of post war peace since 1945 through a united Europe. Sadly, that’s not true either – as Dr Sked, a leading academic in European history often recalled that, peace was ensured by a standing army of over half a million American, Canadian and UK troops.

We don’t need political union to ensure peace — we need democracy. Sadly, the zealots of the EU have proved that what can seem like democracy is in fact a collective dictatorship.

Stanley Oram, Bulbery, Abbotts Ann