Peter Rickaby (Letters, June 27) questions why we send aid to foreign countries.

A major pressure on the nations of Europe, including the UK, is immigration.

Rich people emigrate for pleasure, or out of boredom, or to escape Brexit. The ordinary people of Europe, like me and presumably Mr Rickaby, emigrate for work or to study. Poor people on the other hand emigrate to escape persecution, destitution, war, famine, and mayhem.

In desperation they seek sanctuary because all other choices have gone.

We give foreign aid because the UK government and millions of members of the public recognise that the simplest way to cut the millions fleeing their countries is to make life better in those countries so that they do not need to leave.

Compared with people in many developing nations we are rich.

We should be giving more in order to transform their economies, to ensure that people everywhere can go to sleep with full bellies, with their children safe, their environment protected, and with a chance for education and employment, because it is morally right to do so.

And for those who think only of themselves: we give aid because it relieves the pressures of immigration.

Christian Vassie,

Blake Court,

Wheldrake, York

I’m no racist, my wife is from Lancashire

I have waited a number of days to judge the correspondence you had on comments made recently by Christian Vassie.

He suggested that if you voted to leave the EU it was due to your dislike of foreigners: or, to put it bluntly you were a racist, not said but implied.

In case Mr Vassie misheard the first and subsequent times I have said this, I voted to bring sovereignty back to the English parliament, along with a control of our borders, not to stop people entering but to allow us to make rules that suited our nation’s best interest, like the recent decision to allow foreign doctors and nurses to enter and work in the NHS.

I also support this country taking its fair share of those children and families suffering at the hands of the Syrian regime.

I am not a racist, how can I be, my wife is Lancastrian!

Keith Isaac,

Byron Drive, York