SIR - Many of your readers will be familiar with the storyline of Jane Eyre that features Bertha, the first Mrs Rochester. The latter was once beautiful but became insane and destructive and was kept locked in a secret room in the large Rochester house. Since Bertha was a clear embarrassment, Mr Rochester never referred to her and she remained hidden away.

In a like manner Conservatives now shy away from mentioning Brexit. The whole business of the UK leaving the EU has become an embarrassment. At one point perceived by “Leavers” as desirable and to be embraced, Brexit is now tucked away, out of sight and avoided by ministers and back benchers as a topic for discussion.

Brexit shares with Mrs Rochester the twin characteristics of being both insane and destructive. As an editorial in The Irish Times succinctly put it: “ state in the modern era has committed such a senseless act of self-harm”.

John Cole, Oakroyd Terrace, Baildon