I instinctively dislike the usually self-serving comment, "Better a good divorce than a bad marriage." and yet in the context of Europe I can see the point.

It is almost exactly 50 years since Charles de Gaulle vetoed British entry into the European Community and every passing year makes him seem more prescient.

Being part-French I am easily accused of bias but I do believe the general understood the British better than most of their own post-war leaders.

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He knew they could not engage in the kind of partnership he forged with Germany and that they would never want a part of a new European political entity. After he left the scene Britain managed to scrape in but both the entry and referendum were only won after the people were comprehensively lied to about what was involved.

"O what a tangled web we weave," wrote Sir Walter Scott, "when first we practice to deceive." Perhaps it would be best to admit it has been a mistake and take our leave.

Dr John Cameron,

10 Howard Place,

St Andrews,