I DON’T mind being criticised for my views, but it would help if critics actually read what I wrote.

Sara Grove complains that I don’t regard the Balkans as European. What I actually wrote was that, at the time of the civil war, the Balkans were not in the EU or … “even regarded as in Western Europe (my italics)”.

Of course they’re in Europe. So is Russia. The line between East and West Europe can shift with history (eg the fall of the Berlin Wall) but there is still a difference between West and East which most people can recognise.

Neither is it a matter of caring or not caring. Of course it was NATO that intervened in the Balkan war and not the EU. In case Sara Grove hasn’t noticed, NATO is a military organisation. The EU is an organisation for economic and political co-operation and doesn’t have an army. That’s why the UK and other countries belong to both organisations and why we defended Kosovo as part of NATO, not the EU. If she can’t tell the difference, I’m afraid that’s her problem, not mine.

And yes, it’s pretty easy to buy a property anywhere, even in the USA. However, try to get a job, send your kids to school, or go to A&E and that’s when you’ll learn the meaning of residency rights. Of course it’s possible to emigrate to, say, the USA, Australia and elsewhere, but it’s a bureaucratic hassle, expensive, and you might even be rejected. Inside the EU you’re covered by the Single Market.

We’re now set to leave the EU without any arrangements with our biggest trading partners and with the Irish border problem unresolved. I’m not sure many of us, Leavers or Remainers, expected this in 2016. However, I can well understand that everyone’s just so sick of three years of political incompetence and mendacity, they just want it finished. If everything goes belly-up and we start to see even more problems (we’ve seen plenty already) don’t be surprised when the Government tries to blame the EU. But it’s our decision to leave, not theirs.

Geoff Holman Knutsford