Margaret Thatcher at press conference at House of Commons following her success in the first poll for the Conservative Party leadership. 04/02/1975 Kirk

Having had my 80th birthday, it might be assumed that I am a Brexit supporter. On the contrary, being such an age means I can recall Margaret Thatcher as MP for Finchley trotting around Europe with a shopping basket when we were considering joining the Common Market.

I also recall the view being expressed at the time that we should no longer be tied to the US’s apron strings; we were no longer big or important enough to trade on our own yet needed the benefit of being part of a major trading bloc. We were annoyed that General Charles De Gaulle was blocking our attempts to do so, presumably because we would reduce his influence, but also to serve his alleged anglophobia.

It was assumed that we would have an influence on the performance of such a bloc, not then knowing that one of those putting himself forward as our representative to promote such interests would be Nigel Farage, who was blind to the mutual benefits of membership. Only a fool could regard the EU as perfect, but instead of fighting our corner we are running away and slowly facing the reality of doing so by complying with the vote of marginally less than 40 per cent of the electorate.

I am not sure that we can justify another referendum, but at least those who assumed Brexit could not possibly win will now know better, and anyone heading for Glastonbury in the future might consider the consequence. Of course we are still having sleepless nights worrying about the flood of Turkish immigrants, over whose EU membership a junior Tory minister, during a TV interview, falsely advised we had no veto.

Adrian Danson
Bromley, Kent, UK

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