WHAT has the EU done for us? Like the Monty Python character played by John Cleese, your correspondent Don Micklewright rightly asks ‘What has the EU done for us?’ Well, apart from peace, prosperity, environmental and food standards, visa-free travel, employment rights, clean air and beaches, animal welfare, police and security cooperation, and the right to live work and settle in any EU country, the answer is not very much.

I think he would agree that peace is important.

After two world wars these words are inspiring: “Considering that world peace can be safeguarded only by creative efforts commensurate with the dangers that threaten it... resolved to substitute for age-old rivalries... a broader and deeper community among peoples long divided by bloody conflicts.” European Coal and Steel Community Treaty, 1951.

With recent threats from Russia, peace in Europe is once again on the agenda, and we need to be united as we can’t be sure of support from Trump’s America.

Closer to home, 32,000 administrators is not a ‘bloated bureaucracy’ to run a customs union and single market consisting of 28 countries and 512 million people. In fact this is only slightly more than the number of NHS managers, 30,932 in 2017.

I agree transferring EU administration every month between Brussels and Strasbourg is wasteful and expensive, but this is done to avoid any one country appearing to ‘own’ EU administration; countries with more land solved this problem differently, for example Washington in the District of Columbia is not a state in the United States.

Britain is a trading nation, our prosperity and our empire were built on trade, and we depend on trade. Politicians advocating Brexit have not said how leaving the biggest and most successful trading block in the world, who are our neighbours, will make us all better off.

And forget any plans to retire in Spain, Tenerife or France, we would lose our rights as European citizens to live, work and settle in other European countries.

Personally, I am proud of the many things we have done with the EU, and now we know much more about the EU and the effect leaving would have on jobs and the economy, I am supporting our democratic right in a People’s Vote to decide whether we really do want to leave the EU at all.

Michael Palmer Via email