It is difficult to know where to start with Mr Hill’s confusions (Letter, Sept 21).

Mr Redman’s knowledge, which he dismisses as “such detail...obfuscation”, actually describes a democracy. Clearly, Mr Hill was so bemused by the “detail” that he missed that it exactly fits his government “by the people or their elected representatives.” He might have noted that the EU in some important respects does this rather better than the UK, where the majority of us are destined to be ruled for the majority of our lives by a government which we have not elected and which then rules, typically, on behalf of a limited sectional interest.

The EU works more by consensus than the UK’s confrontation. The result is both more civilised and, on the whole, more democratic.

The biggest confusion, however, is over “sovereignty” and its relationship to democracy.

First, all International treaties involve loss of sovereignty, in that they limit a state’s ability to do or not do certain things. This is sometimes referred to as “the rules-based international order.” We depend on it for our peaceful and effective relations with the rest of the world. Mr Hill’s doctrine would see us leave the WTO (on which we are about to rely), NATO, the UN and its associated treaties, the Council of Europe (nothing to do with the EU), and a wide assortment of other bodies. Sovereignty, in addition, requires the power to defend it, not necessarily militarily.

The biggest threats today come from major international corporations, which are powerful enough to be political players in their own right without any serious democratic control, and the largest world states such as the US, Russia, and China. That is the real threat to sovereignty. As Mr Hill writes, “no sovereignty, no democracy.”

The EU is big enough to be able to defend itself and the interests of the nation states within it. Pooled sovereignty, with effective democratic control (which can be improved both within the UK and the EU - keep arguing the case) is the only sensible way for a small country such as ours to face the future.

Barry Tempest

Romulus Close,