I have just returned from Canada where many seem to be proud of their British heritage: from war memorials to the Canadian forces who laid down their lives in two world wars in their fight for freedom and to keep Europe free.
I also was at Fort Henry where the British stopped the Americans from making Canada the 51st state.
There was a plaque there with the name of British forces who were based there during the war. Among the names were the Royal Ulster Rifles.
It thrilled me also to see at the upper Canada village the history of the British settlers as they told the story of loyalty to the crown and where the Union flag flew proudly.
My thoughts went to our Brexit negotiations with the EU.
British and Commonwealth soldiers fought and many paid the ultimate sacrifice for democracy in Europe. Did we forsake our British Commonwealth partners when we joined the then common market?
It seems that the EU are hell bent on punishing the UK for a democratic decision.
We hear republican/nationalists voices in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland trying to cut us loose from the rest of the UK and keep us part of this diktat.
If there is one thing that we should guard, it is our democracy; otherwise, we fail those who at great cost defended it and set us free.
Is it not time for us to come closer to the Commonwealth again? The Republic has refused to become part of the Commonwealth yet they cry wolf when it comes to us leaving the EU.
There are no comparisons as to Northern Ireland’s trade with the Republic and the other parts of the UK.
As has been pointed out, we do four times more trade with our fellow Brits in the UK. Economically, there is no comparison as to where Northern Ireland is better off. People seem to want their cake and to eat it.
I think that unionists should have awakened and smelt the coffee that it is a political move by republicans and other nationalists.
It seems to me that the Republic are the ones who need special status and not Northern Ireland as the Republic ship most of their goods across the UK to other parts of Europe.
We must not allow ourselves to be used by anyone to frustrate the vote of the British people as a whole.
Maybe it is time to work closer with the Commonwealth countries and let those who want to separate us sort their own border and economies out.
John Mulholland, Doagh