From the FT:
Sir, Sir John Thomson (Letters, October 24) asks how we are going to exert influence in the world if we turn our backs on Europe. Why should we want to influence other countries? We are no longer an imperial power and we should stop wasting money and manpower trying to be one.
Stephen Hazell-Smith, Penshurst, Kent.
Or to rephrase that, why would we want other countries to influence the UK?
Of course we all have to learn from each other's mistakes (the UK's record on this is no better or worse than anybody else's), and most countries are far more similar than the local nationalists would like to admit (because we have learned from each other), but that's the end of that.