THE UK became a member of the European Economic Community at a time when it was perceived as a free trade association, and following our entry in to the EEC we subsequently had to ‘re-align’ our economy to those of the existing members and as a result we suffered unwelcome inflation.

Over the years we have seen the EEC transmogrify from a free trade association in to the all-embracing EU, which today many feel to be stifling and overly bureaucratic, and the British have therefore decided to leave.

The negotiations with the EU are fraught with animosity, as despite always having been a major contributor to EU finances the remaining members of the EU are demanding that the British should recompense the EU for opting out.

But why should this be so?

After all if I want to join a golf club I have to apply for membership, then pay annual membership fees, but later should I, subsequently, wish to terminate my membership I just announce my decision and leave.

I would not expect to receive compensation for any investments which my membership had made possible and neither would I be held responsible for any debts the club may have accrued.

So why can’t we just leave the EU without paying one single penny to those who choose to remain as members of the EU as they have benefited over many years from the UK’s largesse?

Of course the remaining members will have to dig deeper in their pockets to make up for the loss of the UK’s contributions to the budget, but the seriousness of the problem remains unknown as it is years since the EU’s finances were audited.

One thing is for certain, and that is just how shallow our relationship with the EU has been, resting as it apparently did, on our willingness to be dictated to by the Brussels bureaucrats.

Mabel Taylor Knutsford