THOSE who voted to leave the EU voted to do just that – leave with no deal and take our country back to a golden age. Those who voted to remain voted for the status quo and the very many deals that we have negotiated over the last 40 years.

Theresa May’s proposed withdrawal agreement united both sides. There is no half-way house that will please either side of the divide.

Last Sunday Liam Fox said that for parliament to stop Brexit would be a political disaster and to leave with no deal would be an economic disaster. Given that our political system is already broken, I would prefer to deal with the fallout of a political disaster than an economic disaster. We might actually emerge with a fairer and more representative system.

The problem all the way through the Brexit process is that the main players have been motivated by their own political ambitions and have not been working in the interests of our country, however much they may claim to the contrary.

When Michael Gove was asked why he hadn’t resigned from the cabinet when everybody else was leaving he said that if you remained inside you could effect more change than from the outside. Isn’t this the perfect argument for remaining in the EU?

Over those 40 years we have negotiated from within and we are one of the most privileged countries in the EU as a result.

We have the Lisbon Treaty, which gives the UK the right to choose whether to opt in or out of any proposals relating to justice and home affairs. If we don’t opt in we are not governed by the European Court of Justice in that particular matter, but we also then have no say in the negotiations about the proposal. We have full negotiating power if we opt in.

We have opted out of Schengen (the lifting of internal borders) and the Euro to name a few.

When the EU put in place the Working Time Directive, giving workers certain rights including the protection of a maximum 48-hour working week, the UK negotiated the right for employers to be able to ask their employees to opt out of the directive so they can work more than 48 hours a week.

Our place is inside (Michael Gove), working with our closest neighbours, and avoiding economic disaster (Liam Fox).

Rosemary Lewes