I WOULD remind Richard Grant (Letters 19 June) that this country was ranked third largest economy in the world before our mistake in joining the union we were conned into believing was a common trading agreement between European countries.

Our banks were at that time ranked the best in the world but have now been dragged down by the uncertainty of the single currency.

Yes, we “used to be” (to quote Mr Grant) lots of things we aren’t now and while it would be naive to suggest all our woes emanate from Europe, our membership in the EU serves only to drag us deeper into the world mire.

The only way a united Europe and a single currency could possibly work would be for all participating countries to spread their wealth equally between each member regardless of their present economy upon joining so for the like of countries like Britain and Germany we would need to give more than half our wealth to the poorer members (I can just imagine the Germans putting up with that!) but this bailing out of shaky economies is almost a step in that direction and the only way for us is out, the sooner the better.

I’ve certainly nothing against Europeans, but I’ve always had this little extra special pride in being English or British according to which part of these islands you hail from.

L A O’BEE, Southampton.