The Daily Telegraph

The EU has never helped Britain to project its influence in the world


SIR – Lord Heseltine is right to say that Germany will dominate the EU after Brexit (report, March 25) – but then it does so already.

The euro has benefited the German economy, which has thrived with an undervalue­d exchange rate, and nothing we say will influence the European Central Bank. As EU members outside the euro bloc, we have no influence on the future direction of the intended federation.

We will be in a much stronger position outside the EU, which has strictly controlled our freedom. It is time for Lord Heseltine to get behind his country. George Burne Woldingham, Surrey SIR – On Wednesday the Prime Minister will formally write to the European Commission and invoke Article 50, thereby triggering Brexit negotiatio­ns.

One of the first items to be raised, or so we are led to believe, is the so-called divorce settlement of £50 billion. I suggest that our initial response should be to say that we will discuss this when audited accounts are available for the past 40 years, so that all sides are working from verified and confirmed figures. Ray Seymour Bedford SIR – The more one reads of the punitive attitude of EU leaders towards Brexit, the more one feels they are displaying the characteri­stics of a cult, rather than a political organisati­on.

The real agenda for the EU project was hidden when Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973, so we entered with optimism. However, the reality of membership has now become clear, and we want to leave. The response has been to issue threats to intimidate us and warn other members against leaving.

Like leaving a real cult, the process will be traumatic but, in the long term, completely liberating. Larry Oster Southsea, Hampshire SIR – Petitions, legal challenges and marches have all failed to stop the Brexit juggernaut. The mechanism is being operated largely by MPs who have stifled their doubts, and by civil servants ordered to perform a task they could not have expected and for which they have had little time to prepare. They are driven by the exultation of long-term Brexiteers, who feel that they are at last entering the promised land.

However, long negotiatio­ns are expected. Even two years is a long period of instabilit­y. It would therefore be unwise for the Brexiteers to rejoice too enthusiast­ically when Article 50 is invoked. If Brexit turns out to be a disappoint­ment or disaster, what will they say?

Most important of all, if Brexit fails, who will pick up the pieces and draft a policy of recovery? It seems that nobody dares contemplat­e failure. This omission must be rectified and contingenc­y planning instituted. Margaret Brown Burslem, Staffordsh­ire

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