THE “take-back-control” mantra of the Brexiteers is absurd. We did not join the European Union against our will. We agreed to pool a certain amount of sovereignty with our nearest neighbours because we recognised that each of us was stronger together than we were apart.

Yes, some of our legislation comes to us from the EU but only about 12% of it, and it has first to be approved by a democratically elected parliament.

Another phrase becoming tiresome: “it is the will of the people”.  If 2% had voted the other way in the referendum, presumably the ‘will of the people’ would have been the exact opposite.  

The referendum was the crudest of instruments. Older people voted in the majority “No” to Europe. But they will not be around to see the consequences of that vote. 16 and 17-year-olds, who would have voted in the majority “Yes” and will be around, did not have a vote.  

Already, the first act in this tragedy is unfolding.  We have lost the European Banking Authority to Frankfurt and the European Medicines Agency to Amsterdam.  Applications for nursing posts in the NHS from other EU countries are down 96%.  

Fortunately, the ‘mind of the people’ is not immutable.  We did not stop having elections when ‘the will of the people’ was expressed in 2015.  We had another one two years later. If referendums are to be an instrument of policy, we can have another one two years after the first. It would do no harm to have another vote before we leap off the cliff, or at least into the dark.

J Partington
Chepstow