TO CHANGE my mind and publicly admit I was wrong takes second thoughts and guts.

But it only takes 650,000 of those who voted for Brexit to do this and we will no longer be running like lemmings over the cliff to financial disaster.

The Government tells us we are a nation short of money: government borrowing is higher than it has ever been, the NHS is in huge debt, social care in a state of collapse, schools face big budget cuts, crime is on the rise because of lack of police, roads are not repaired, council public services decimated.

Personal debt is rising to the levels of 2008 as more and more people live by credit card and fuel bills have risen by 12 per cent.

British productivity is the lowest in the G7 countries so wages are low; the Brexit-caused low pound is raising prices in the shops for basics like food. The vast majority of manufacturers, big and small, are very worried. City of London banks are already relocating to Europe, and this means a huge drop in income for our national budget as financial transactions are no longer carried out here. Investment has stalled.

So, is this the time to deliberately make our country poorer? Outside of the EU, we will pay higher tariffs to buy from, and sell to, the EU. Though we may sell whisky cheaper to India ... may.

We were told the EU needs us more than we need it. It is now clear it is more important to the 27 EU countries to stick together than to give us favourable terms to leave the club.

The whole process of leaving the EU is far more complicated than we were told. Many voted Brexit to reduce immigration; now it’s clear we need that immigration to run our services and keep some food prices low. Others voted because “we don’t want Europeans telling us what to do”. That is a primitive tribalism unworthy of our nation: we are all Europeans. Top Brexiteers lied to us, most of them rich enough and with money in tax havens abroad, not to bother about the rise in prices.

When will someone have the guts to admit the third of British voters to vote Brexit were misled and wrong? When will Theresa May, now holidaying in the centre of Europe, realise she will go down in history as the Prime Minister who impoverished her country for generations?

When football hooliganism was rife across Europe, I often felt ashamed to be British. Now, as I read stories of good, talented European families, which have made their lives here for many years, now moving back to Europe because they feel unwanted and uncertain, I feel ashamed again. How have we become so narrow-minded and defensive, so xenophobic? We have made a mistake. Let’s own up to it before it’s too late.

JOHN ROBERTS Lower Scholes, Oakworth