WHILE Mr Studholme has tried to put some hard evidence before the public on the realities of leaving the EU (Letters, October 4, 'Brexit deal vote needed'), your correspondents in the October 18 edition (Messrs Hall, Farrer and Fishman) seem more intent on appealing to misty-eyed nostalgia for a vanished past, and a highly optimistic view of our independent power to shape the future.

If we leave the European Union, it’s far more likely that we’ll become more economically dependent on the USA – and joined at the hip to their foreign and defence policies (perhaps with Donald Trump about to begin a second term in the White House).

And, although the Brexiteers don’t want to acknowledge this, the polls now show that in the light of more reliable information, the figures for the 2016 referendum are almost exactly reversed, with 52 per cent to remain and 48 per cent to leave.

But still the talks struggle on at enormous cost in time, energy and resources (not just to the UK, but to the rest of Europe).

It is as if someone had promised us a day out in Manchester with free shopping vouchers and cheap travel. But the bus keeps breaking down and half way there we learn that most of the shops are shut that day – and the vouchers turn out to be forgeries.

But even though most of us don’t want to continue to Manchester, the driver insists those were his instructions and that’s where he’s going – whatever his passengers want: his own job depends on it.

And none of us has the slightest idea what we’re going to do when we get there. A second vote, whatever name you want to give it, is essential.

Bill Angus