HOW generous of Keith Watts not to require an apology from those who were rude to him (Letters, December 28, ‘Cost to prepare’) going on to say “… all leavers, who were beguiled by a fantasy embellished with lies …”.

Some of us have followed the stated intentions of the EU from the start and are fully aware that the present federal stage is to be followed by the supranational stage (political unity and its own army). Some of us watched the demands of our entry at its various stages with both alarm and anger.

The giving away of our traditional, prosperous, multi-generational, unsubsidised and profitable fishing industry, with its free raw materials and its related industries, for a system that left some trawlers allowed only two days a week for fishing and fish of the wrong sort thrown back dead to the sea bed, not used for pet food or fertiliser.

The environmental requirements for reeds that meant thatchers had to import reeds since ours were cut at the wrong time (thatching obeys the rules of nature).

The closure of small, specialist slaughter houses, their local butchers and long journeys for organic beef animals.

Electricians who had to pay thousands to be re-qualified (mine was by someone he had trained), so he retired early.

The changes to in environmental reg7ulations governing ditches that resulted in the Somerset Levels flooding (an area that only existed because of traditional ditching).

Changes in water testing that may have very local pollution input.

The list is a very long one.

I started asking, “What happens if we want out”, by the early 1900s and no one could answer that question. However, Baroness Thatcher, in 2002 wrote “Why was there, then, not more and better debate about the merits and drawbacks of entry? … we would be prepared, if it became necessary, unilaterally to withdraw from EU membership. This might seem at first a provocative tactic: but it actually makes good sense. We will never be taken seriously in renegotiation if our partners are allowed to believe that in the end we will settle for whatever we are offered.”*

Sadly, lies were a battle weapon in both sides of the Brexit dispute, but many of us did have the background knowledge to spot them and the use made of fear by one-sided campaigns.

Did insult and arrogance have to become a part of it all?

Margaret Reichlin, MacCallum Road, Upper Enham

*Editor’s note: Quote from Margaret Thatcher’s 2002 book,‘Statecraft — Strategies for a Changing World’.