A question often asked is: ‘what has the EU done for the UK?’. Here are a few things I can think of:

- Destroyed our orchards to flood our market with Golden Delicious

- Fishing: a large portion (almost all) of our fishing fleet has had to be destroyed. A lot of the rest has been bought out by European countries so they can plunder our waters.

- Allowed the French and Dutch to dump their milk and associated products on us

- The car industry: the French have the audacity to advertise Vauxhall as ‘a British brand’ when all the profits go over to France to the ‘parent company’. BMW have taken Jaguar Land Rover and taken Mini out of Britain as well, swamping our market with BMWs

- Manufacturing: our agricultural equipment is almost all imported: tractors are all European. Massey Ferguson, Ford/New Holland, Case International Harvester were all once made here but no more.

- We are only ‘allowed’ to import Japanese/other ‘foreign’ goods as the EU dictates.

There is a lot more but we have to keep letters short.

E L Thompson, Pond Farm, Crambe, York

After the high of 2012, how did we end up here?

Seven years ago I, along with the majority of the country, was watching with huge national pride the 2012 Olympics. A celebration of great unity, diversity, humanity and inclusion. The world was impressed and envied us.

Seven years later, we are divided, racism is on the rise, and austerity has resulted in 20 per cent of the population living in poverty, including the working poor, whilst the rich, including the bankers who caused the 2008 global financial crash, have got richer. Meanwhile our once superb public services have been cut to the bone.

The world is watching our behaviour with horror. So many people, whatever their political views, are angry and the level of abuse keeps rising. I often have letters published in the Press. They are always factual and not personally abusive, yet I always receive online personal abuse. David Cameron, George Osborne,Theresa May, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, all of whom are richer than they were in 2012, have a lot to answer for.

Helen Webster, Main Street, Fulford, York

Let’s talk about the ethics of trade

The feature of the European Union that appeals to many of those of us who voted to remain is precisely that it is more than a trade treaty.

It is a trade treaty where those ethical values, which European nations have in common, can override purely commercial advantages. For example, trade in meat and dairy products requires commonly agreed standards on the treatment of animals. Trade in fish requires protection of vital fish populations in European waters. Trade in mechanical products for the domestic market requires that purchasers be made aware of differences in running costs as well as differences in purchase price.

Trade in genetically modified organisms is banned when it is deemed to put the natural world at risk. Trade in the meat of animals treated with antibiotics is banned because it puts human medical treatments at risk.

Trade is essential but it must not take precedence over ethics.

Maurice Vassie,

Deighton, York