Mr Readman’s reply (August 19) to Mr Mills (August 15) really isn’t good enough.

He repeats all the anti-EU clichés that have been countlessly refuted on this page and elsewhere: Mr Heath misleading the country; “Parliament...virtually emasculated”; “governed by diktats from an unelected coterie of overpaid, self-serving bureaucrats.”

At this stage in the debate we deserve better than this lazy nonsense.

His optimism about the alternatives is massively misplaced, and he is clearly well behind the news.

The trade deal on offer from the US is manifestly inferior to the one that the EU rightly rejected in Mr Obama’s time.

If Mr Readman is worried about an emasculated parliament, he should look at the limits to parliament’s power to protect British citizens’ interests that will be included in an investor protection clause, in addition to the lowering of a range of health and consumer protection measures.

Mr Trump’s “America first” doctrine will do us no favours: there is a danger of our ending up in status somewhere between an unincorporated US territory such as Puerto Rico and the 51st state, without the ability to represent our interests in the US.

The Australian Prime Minister has recently been highly satirical of the notion that Australia and the Pacific rim countries can in any way replace our access to the EU; he also pointed out that the negotiations with the likes of India and Japan will be long and difficult.

The EU has recently successfully completed such negotiations after many hard years of engagement. We will be negotiating from a position of weakness (don’t deceive yourself otherwise) and it could easily be up to a decade before useful agreements can be obtained.

Anything faster will compromise our longer-term interests.

To propose major volumes of trade across the Atlantic and to the far side of the world, with the consequent transport costs, monetary and environmental, would really be crazy.

In short, the world will be no oyster of rich promise. We are far better off politically, environmentally, economically, and morally where we are.

Barry Tempest

Romulus Close,