From Paul Knocker, Bembridge:

I was interested to see the series of Brexit letters (CP, 26-10-18 etc). Let’s start with Galileo and “reduced security”. This is yet another extravagant and unnecessary EU “grand project”, originally a plan to break the monopoly held by the long-established US Global Positioning System (GPS). At one point it was running nine years late and three times over budget.

The latest estimate on the web is around 22 billion euros. Galileo is not essential to Britain’s security; we will continue to work with our close allies in the US. The partnership between Forte Meade, GCHQ and Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and US, gives us a unique global security system, that is far ahead of any other country in Europe.

After 40 years the EU still has not signed a free trade agreement with the two largest economies in the world — the United States and China. It is so much easier for an independent Britain to negotiate a bi-lateral trade deal and the doors are wide open, including the Commonwealth countries, whom we have neglected for so many years — 53 independent countries, with a population of 2.3 billion (60 per cent under 29), a combined GDP of $13 trillion (more than the eurozone), with a common language and legal system — their stated aims “to promote development, democracy and peace”.

Britain is too often cast by the media as the doomed supplicant, rather than the fifth largest economy in the world. This image has been endorsed by the government’s incompetent handling of the Brexit negotiations, leaving the voters here and our friends abroad, frustrated and in despair.

M. Barnier’s brief was clear: “punish them, and ensure they are not able to set up a dynamic fast growth global economy”. He set the agenda and timetable, we have acquiesced, and he has been very successful.

We have not played our strong cards, such as the £82 billion annual deficit with EU trade, and our global hub in financial services.

Another indicator is the table for the top ten universities in the world —United States five, Britain four, Switzerland one, the EU zero (France is ranked 50 in the list).

These are the figures for the European Union share of global trade — 1980 30 per cent, 2017 15 per cent.

The chances of the EU surviving in its current form look increasingly remote…good enough reason to leave…and I have not even got to the restoration of the sovereignty of Parliament, the supremacy of English law, or the recovery of our traditional fishing rights.

Don’t underestimate the intelligence or resilience of the electorate — right now Britain is not alone in making this mistake. One of the more interesting referendum statistics, rarely published, was that 70 per cent of MPs voted to remain, while 70 per cent of their constituents voted to leave. The people have already voted, they got it right, and the politicians have screwed up.