Mr Compton (July 22) is wrong: there are no plans for EU armed forces conscription, and any plans for a unified EU defence force, which might make sense when a less dominant US takes its NATO commitment to deal with problems (partly of its own making) in the Middle and Far East, are a long way from fruition.

Further, the UK has a specific opt-out in the Lisbon Treaty from joining the euro.

These are two of the new anti-EU propaganda distortions being circulated, often in good faith (as here).

An older anti-EU misrepresentation is Mr Samway’s reference (July 6) to “an overblown and bureaucratic organisation”, which goes back at least as far as Boris Johnson’s notorious time as Brussels Deceiver-in-Chief for the Daily Telegraph, irresponsibly encouraged by an editor, Max Hastings, who now belatedly advises us in unmistakable terms that Mr Johnson is unfit for higher office.

The EU bureaucracy is actually quite small when you take out the translators and trade agreement specialists who provide a service that we now have to duplicate for ourselves, swelling our own “bureaucracy” at very considerable cost and, as yet, little success (though that might owe more to our declined status than lack of professional skill.

In many ways, to be fair, Liam Fox seems to have, so far, done a reasonable job).

Mr Joyce (July 23) looked in the wrong place for the reference to “advisory”.

As regular readers of this column will be aware, he should have looked in the House of Commons Briefing Paper (07212 of June 2015) for the bill which set up the referendum.

Section 5 states “It does not contain any requirement for the UK Government to implement the results of the referendum...consultative...the UK does not have constitutional provisions which would require the results of the referendum to be implemented.”

For good measure, Section 6 points out that countries that have constitutional provisions for referendums on important issues usually set a threshold which must be passed to ensure “the legitimacy and acceptance of the outcome.”

That lack of legitimacy is exactly where we are now.

The language of the briefing is straightforward enough for the dimmest MP to understand.

Some MPs have chosen to ignore it.

There is real concern that many MPs have allowed themselves to be bullied into acquiescing in a course of action about which they have serious and well-founded misgivings.

Mr Drax’s letter to the Daily Telegraph, urging that MPs not willing to implement the vote should resign, is an example of the illegitimate pressures to which MPs were subjected, but which we are entitled to expect they will resist (as some honourable ones have).


Romulus Close,