TOM Pomeroy is mistaken on several grounds (Mr Drax in his column as well).

His comparison between British colonial settlers and imperial rulers in India and Jamaica on the one hand, and EU residents in the UK, is simply false. The former came as an imposition, the latter as citizens in an agreement we freely entered into.

The EU citizens in this country came with rights guaranteed by international treaty which we signed.

We, in proposing to withdraw from that treaty, have obligations towards those left stranded by our actions.

The EU’s proposals (which have received scant attention in this country) attempt to continue the rights of UK citizens in other EU states and similarly the rights of other citizens in the UK. It is a fair basis for discussion.

We do not have a constitution which can guarantee citizens’ rights (including our own).

There are good reasons, historically, for this, but it is now something that for our own benefit we should perhaps re-examine. Our excellent British courts are therefore an irrelevance in this case.

At present, all EU citizens’ rights in other EU countries (including UK citizens abroad) are guaranteed by treaty and enforced by the European Court of Justice.

If we wish to leave the jurisdiction of the European Court, it is incumbent on us to agree an alternative form of protection, guaranteed by international treaty, to duplicate the functions of the European Court.

This seems unnecessarily expensive and clumsy.

The offer we have made, as it stands, is not fair and generous – rather the reverse. It does not, in spite of claims to the contrary, even guarantee that families will not be split, a real worry since we already do this with, for instance, non-EU citizens married to British citizens, and the position of British residents who need to care for ageing or sick relatives is not guaranteed. There was initially a general agreement that people should come first. The EU appears to be maintaining that; we are not, and we should.

Barry Tempest Romulus Close, Dorchester