I’VE read Ian Lakin’s letter (April 12) multiple times with astonishment and one can only assume the catastrophe that Brexit has become and the impending impact on the Tory vote have addled his thinking.

As if we have not had enough sunny uplands turning to soggy moorland. We still have Mr Lakin postulating that breaking from the EU will boost our international competitiveness, against every other single global estimate. The basis for his sage forecast is a tweet from the President of the United States. That is where we are today. We’re breaking from the worlds largest trading block on the back of a 280-character comment on social media, from Donald Trump no less.

It’s then backed up by saying the UK grew 0.2 per cent and 0.6 per cent industrially in February versus forecasted German stagnation. The fact that Germany exports more than it imports while the UK imports more than it exports might be a factor here.

Especially when forecasts estimate a minimum hit of five per cent on the currency when we leave and anything from 4-12 per cent downturn in GDP. Liam Fox had estimated that we would have 80 trade deals ready to go for March 31 this year.. I've seen four if you count Papua New Guinea and Switzerland/Norway/Lichtenstein (which we already had). I have seem Dr Fox celebrating as many new EU deals in the two years since Article 50 was triggered than he has signed for the UK independently.

Based on my professional experience in manufacturing I can guarantee that any uptick in the UK economy is purely to down to front-loading of manufacturing for the impending shock of Brexit. The next stage, even if we do not exit, will be a surprise contraction in manufacturing output as stock levels have soared; this is unavoidable now as the process has started. The supply channels and warehouses are full. The more subtle impacts of wasted commercial investment in Brexit mitigation will echo through businesses for a long long time. The lost jobs down to business migration to the EU are gone forever. Thankfully this will probably peter out now.

I’m not sure where Mr Lakin was in the early 1980s after we soared like an eagle out of the three-day week, miners strike, power strikes, lorry driver strikes and pound devaluation. I can say with great certainty no one was soaring in Clydebank. We had unemployment at levels unseen since before the war. My own father was unemployed for eight years without break. The whole country was affected, whole families devastated.

I have always said from the start that once the realities of Brexit were felt that you will be hard pushed to find anyone who will admit supporting this nonsense. That wave has now begun. We can be thankful for cooler heads in Westminster, some very lucky parliamentary arithmetic and to our great friends in the EU for helping us avoid a national catastrophe. My advice to Mr Lakin would be learn the lesson, be happy that cooler heads and smarter people like Donald Tusk have helped us avoid a national disaster.

Don’t double down on your madness, it will just take the whole embarrassment of it a lot longer for it to be forgotten.

Campbell Grant Kennedy,

Kuehlergrund 31-2, Heidelberg 69126, Germany.

IAN Lakin declares that the fact of the UK wishing to leave the EU is the fault of the EU, and the subsequent toing and froing of Theresa May is also its fault. He does not seem to have noticed that Mrs May cannot get the support from the Westminster Parliament to justify her actions.

Britain wants the EU to change the rules, then leave the EU. It would be a very strange club where rules were changed by departing members; it could also be that Mr Lakin does not wish to see the EU receive any money for the disruption caused by the UK.

He based his view on how we survived the 1970s, the miners’ strike and the three-day week; perhaps the political parties were a wee bit better than we see today – Mrs Thatcher did not come along until 1979.

He quotes President Trump as an example in trading to be admired; any support for a politician who wants another country to build a wall, with its money, and who splits families up in pursuit of that aim, is not one anyone should wish to emulate.

Mr Lakin calls the EU a spent force, while the 27 members of the EU are laughing at the UK.

Jim Lynch,

42 Corstorphine Hill Crescent, Edinburgh.

Read more: European elections 2019: Why is the UK involved and what does it mean for Brexit?

IAIN Macwhirter, writing on Scotland’s behalf not to the EU, our alleged trading partner, but to the 27 nation states among whom we do actually trade, condescends to explain to these countries the meaning of sovereignty in a modern world (“Dear EU 27, here’s why you shouldn’t give up on Scotland”, The Herald April 10).

Oddly enough his is just the sophisticated reasoning employed by the mandarins of Whitehall in their infamous secret memorandum “Sovereignty and the European Communities” in which they referred to the loss of sovereignty in both foreign and domestic affairs that membership involved. That was in 1971 when the Acquis Communautaire had only 13,000 pages of laws to be enforced. Does Mr Macwhirter know how many hundreds of thousands have been added in the last 48 years or how very few areas of our lives are now left free from EU control?

Notable among the instructions contained in this paper is the reminder of absolute confidentiality during the following 30 years. The sanguine assumption by Whitehall and presumption by the seminal EU was that after 30 years Britain would be so enmeshed in Brussels legislation that it would be virtually impossible to leave.

Politicians and the media have been careful (as cautioned) not to attribute unpopular laws to the European Commission, Lord Kerr has introduced a totally unnecessary Article to the EU Constitution and Tony Blair’s most brilliant propagandist has been devoting his activities since the referendum to keeping Britain in the EU.

But a treaty can always be unilaterally abrogated and if, as Mr Macwhirter claims, “we realise that we have become a laughing stock across Europe”, we may as well go ahead and earn its execration also by making a clean break and facing the consequences.

Above all we must campaign for parliamentary representatives to acquaint themselves with at least some of the main themes of the European project and to consider Britain’s independence alongside our GDP. And the media – which includes newspapers – should at this crucial stage be prepared to offer unspun facts and fair comment.

Mary Rolls,

58 Castlegate, Jedburgh.