At risk of being an EU referendum bore, I really can’t let the misleading claims in Paul Chapman’s ‘Let’s take This Opportunity’ letter go unchallenged (Postbag November 8).

1. MEPs receive an immediate pension when they cease to be an MEP: Wrong.

When they leave, MEPs receive a lump sum payment consistent with their length of service, up to two years of salary.

This is directly comparable to a redundancy payment under UK law.

Pension payment starts at age 63 and its size depends on length of service – like most UK occupational pensions.

2. The EU has never had its accounts audited: Wrong.

The EU’s Accounts have been audited in full since 2007, and there has been a ‘Court of Auditors’ since 1977.

The UK is represented on this body.

3. MEPs are allowed to have second jobs: True.

But so do one in five UK MPs.

In fact some have several jobs in addition to their parliamentary role.

4. The move from Brussels to Strasbourg and back costs millions: True.

The total cost is around £150 million but however silly, this equates to just 0.1 percent of the entire EU budget, so scarcely ‘extortionate’.

5. The EU ‘enforces’ monetary policy on its member states.

Only partly right.

Enforcement historically has only happened with countries like Greece as a condition of bailing them out of a self-inflicted financial crisis.

There is no enforcement of monetary policy with the UK, and we secured an ‘opt-out’ from the Euro.

6. ‘We are directed to provide overseas aid’. Wrong.

Our goal of 0.7% of Gross National Income was set by our own government working to a 1970 objective framed by the UN.

Other EU states may fail to equal this, but that’s nothing to do with the EU, so the question of EU-enforced fines does not arise.

7. We were prohibited from trading with our pre-EU trading partners. Wrong.

The whole point of being part of a trading consortium is that we and the other members trade to the same tariff rules with non-EU countries.

That doesn’t stop us trading with them.

8. ‘A majority decision has been made’. True.

But we made a decision to stay in the EU in our 1975 referendum. And the vote in favour of staying in the EEC (as it then was) was 67%, far more convincing than the fragile and divisive 51.9% in the 2016 referendum.

What is so sad about all this is that all the above information is readily available on-line. Half an hour of research would have shown Mr Chapman how off-target most of his claims are.

Alan Jones