Frank Jackson wrote (Opinion, The reason for the EU, April 18) that keeping the peace is the real argument for our being in the EU. But in November Merkel and Macron called for a ‘real, true European army’ and the European Parliament recently voted overwhelmingly for a European Defence Fund.

It committed to spending 13 billion euros over the next seven years to researching and developing ‘cutting-edge’ weapons and military technology. If the EU has kept the peace until now without needing an army to do so, why does it want an army now?

Chris Sumner wrote (Where are trade deals?, 18 April) that we need trade; yes indeed. And the UK has already rolled over important trade and mutual recognition agreements to enable trade to continue unhindered with the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Israel and South Africa among others.

I wholly agree with Mr Sumner that we must not make a bad deal with the USA. We do not need another TTIP, the EU/US investors’ protection racket that EU President Juncker was so desperate to force us into.

And I agree with him that we should oppose US companies taking over parts of our NHS. But shouldn’t we also oppose European companies trying to do so? And oppose British companies trying to do so?

And I agree with Mr Sumner that we did not vote to leave one neo-liberal trading bloc in order to join another neo-liberal trading bloc. And I agree that we should not ‘bow to the whims of unrestrained capital’,

Will Podmore

Clavering Road, Wanstead