HAROLD Tomlinson – No mistakes made (Keighley News, August 17) – states, “We are British, not European.”

And that’s the nub of the matter: the implied separate superiority of the British which leads us down the dangerous road to bigotry and xenophobia. I would rather say, “We are British and European.”

Perhaps he actually means “English”, like David Davis the Brexit Secretary who now wants to negotiate the new trade deal with the EU without consulting the Scottish or Irish parliaments or the Welsh Assembly. Is that what Davis meant about “democracy” and “taking back control” during the referendum debate?

I notice Mr Tomlinson does not try to answer my main point about the coming catastrophe for the British economy (higher prices, more low-paid jobs). All he can come up with are scare stories about a European Army, the United States of Europe, and the old chestnut about straight cucumbers.

He accuses me of accepting “the biased information” from the BBC. Yes, I do watch the BBC but also Channel 4 and ITV. They all report that the EU has the upper hand and is better prepared for the Brexit negotiations, and that the Government’s recent position papers are generally derided as fantasy land and inept. But you wouldn’t know that if all you read were the Daily Mail, Express, Sun, Star, Times and Telegraph – all rabidly anti-Europe.

Yes, there are financial inefficiencies within the EU. But our own British Audit Office regularly produces reports of our own home-grown British government financial inefficiencies – particularly about IT systems, Ministry of Defence procurement and privatised public services (such as the probation service.) Mr Tomlinson correctly states that the difference between the referendum yes and no votes was 1,269,501. So if half of these plus one had changed their votes (my figure of 650,000) the referendum decision would have been reversed.

Plain common sense shows that the British negotiation position is impossible: we want to leave the single market and the customs union but still retain tariff-free trade with the EU. Firstly, This proves how essential our Government believes this tariff-free trade is for our economy (as almost all British businesses, small and large, agree). Secondly, it means the British want to stay as members of the club but not abide by the rules or pay the membership fee. A patent nonsense!

Leave or stay, we will need to continue selling to the EU and to do so we will need to abide by EU regulations and standards, including those about energy-saving vacuum cleaners.

JOHN ROBERTS Lower Scholes, Oakworth