DOESN’T Lovina Roe (Letters, September 11) taking the premise of free trade and blaming it for all her perceived political flaws of the EU merely demonstrate how little she understands about the benefits of free trade, what the EU is and how it works?

Next time she’s in her supermarket the benefits of free trade will be there for her to see. Goods are not only cheaper but they’re more readily available too. This allows suppliers to create a supply flow of goods to the shelves which obviates the need for extensive storage, meaning fresher food and constant supply, at a price determined by the market free of tariffs.

With Brexit this supply structure will at best be curtailed, at worst damaged to bring higher prices for we consumers while our incomes are unlikely to increase correspondingly to alleviate the effect; we’ll be poorer.

What part of Trump’s imposition of tariffs on Chinese steel, supposedly to protect US steelworkers’ jobs, and the instant retaliation on US goods and services did Ms Roe not understand? And who does she think will pay for this? Couldn’t be we ordinary consumers again, could it? Is this what she wants for us with Brexit and shunning the single market?

The EU single market is the prize of membership. It facilitates what I’ve described, which benefits us all. With it comes obligations in order for it to work. This requires regulations that all member nations have a say in formulating and all agree to adhere to. They are necessary to deliver the benefits. The Chequers “deal” means we get the rules but no say over what those rules are.

Part of these benefits include the improvements in working conditions which, despite Ms Roe’s belief that we could construct for ourselves, we have singularly failed to achieve on our own accord in a hundred years. Fact is, every advance in workers’ rights teased out of our British capitalist controllers was won only after dogged resistance by them and at the expense of damaging industrial strife which harmed workers, restricted our effectiveness to compete at home and abroad, and damaged our reputation as reliable suppliers in the global market.

With Brexit the rights conferred by EU membership will be quickly dissipated by the architects of British capitalism to force reduction of wages and standards and boost profits. Experience shows that in Britain a profits boost is rarely met with a corresponding increase in investment, with wealth retained by the rich and the gap between rich and poor never greater. Ms Roe’s prospectus of leaving the EU and going it alone will only exacerbate the problem – the rich get more wealth, we get food banks.

I agree the EU does need a rethink about how it is organised. Where Ms Roe will take issue with me is that the solution is for a more federal arrangement, which I suspect she would oppose.

But that is for the future. To have a say in what transpires we would have to be members of the EU. With Brexit we won’t have any say. We’ll be an island off the shores of Europe, paying higher prices for goods from the EU, and sprackling to negotiate trade deals in a competitive global market where our new inherent trading weakness will force us to accept lower standards of goods and services that the EU has hitherto protected us from.

For me, we have two ways to solve our problems. Either we don’t Brexit or, if we do, then Scotland takes control of its own affairs, becomes independent again and then decides its own future, either within the EU or not.

I know which I would prefer. The EU and the much quicker solution to all the questions of currency, standards, rights and freedom for both trade and our young people to expand our horizons as the superb wee nation we are.

Jim Taylor

READ MORE: Letters: When will worship of the god of free trade cease?​