I MUST disagree with Andrew McKie’s contention that Covid will be more damaging for the UK than Brexit ("Brexit? It pales next to the cataclysm of coronavirus", The Herald, December 8). We will recover in time from the ravages of Covid, but I fear that the costs of Brexit will be felt for generations to come. From Boris Johnson’s infamous red bus to Michael Gove’s insistence this morning (December 9) that there will not be a border line running down the Irish Sea, we have been consistently lied to and misled as regards Brexit.

In the House of Commons on Monday the Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt repeated the Brexit assertion that this was all to do with the UK "regaining sovereignty". Just what does this mean in practice? Are we really to believe that proud countries such as France and Germany have surrendered their power and influence to "the faceless, unelected bureaucrats of Brussels"? Central to the UK’s negotiating problems has been a complete failure to grasp what really lies at the heart of the EU project.

Unlike Continental Europe, the UK has not experienced the horrors of war on its soil. For centuries much of Europe has experienced invasion, destruction, occupation, mass murder and the loss of millions of lives. It was the determination to put an end to this suffering that brought former enemies together to find a better way forward for Europe.

Over the years, the EU can point to many praiseworthy achievements. It is now the world’s largest trading bloc; important advances have been made in the areas of workers’ rights, trade, health and safety and the environment. Large amounts of money have been targeted at key research and in projects to improve the infrastructure of more needy parts of the EU. Much work has been done to bring former states of the USSR, vulnerable to unwanted interference, into the fold. The EU’s greatest achievement, however, has been to bring an end to generations of conflict. As a result, we have enjoyed peace in continental Europe since 1945. While my grandfather’s generation and then my father’s generation had to go to war, my generation has been spared.

It is the determination of the EU to maintain this stability that underpins its negotiating stance. There is far more to the EU than fishing rights and level playing fields.

Eric Melvin, Edinburgh EH10.

I ALWAYS look forward to reading Ian McConnell’s articles. Today’s article did not disappoint with its insightful dissection of the Brexit endgame ("Brexit farce is excruciating to view but this is UK’S sad reality", The Herald, December 9).

Hopefully he will be able to provide similar insights into the economics of Scottish Independence in the not-too-distant future.

Ian Martin, Milngavie.