I was reading the letters page and the first letter seemed familiar, sounding like a copy of me, so I skipped to the end to see who’d written it: John Cairns. I had. Thankfully the editor had corrected my misspelling of a name I didn’t think to look up. The end ‘too’ seemed otiose and I’ve checked from my sent folder to find out how it was edited. In public writing you factor editing in. It’s too much bother to give the published version. Here’s the original email:
Since there are three times the Europeans here than British there, in a much bigger entity, May should have been asking for a major concession beyond the reciprocal recognition of rights. Accepting Europe’s negotiating basis perhaps precluded her having done that. It’s not too late. If Baumier is illegitimately demanding a European court supervise any agreement on rights, Europe is intent on imposing a hard Brexit without any deal, as Davis, our negotiator, is aware if he says no deal is better than a punitive one. We have to use what we have and the number of Europeans here gives us some leverage since Europe is so keen to exact that its citizens’ rights here should be as if we’d never left Europe. Of course this is a bargaining chip to be used! They’re not here for our good but their own. Stop being maudlin about it when politically Europe is determined to do us down.
Instead of ‘the’ in the first line the editor put ‘as many’ and instead of ‘British there’ ‘there are Britons in Europe’. He inserted a ‘Theresa’ before ‘May’ and ‘citizens” before ‘rights’. He didn’t make a separate sentence but put a ‘but’ before ‘it’s not too late’. After ‘If’ he inserted ‘the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier,’ and dropped the ‘illegitimately’ and inserted ‘that’ after ‘demanding’, changing the form of the verb to suit. He inserts a ‘therefore’ before ‘intent’ and a ‘David’ before ‘Davis’, dropping ‘our negotiator’. He’s put ‘must’ instead of ‘have to’ and ‘EU citizens living in the UK’ instead of ‘Europeans here’. He’s dropped the ‘Of course’ and exclamation and inserted ‘for May to use’ instead of ‘to be used’ and replaced ‘They’re’ with ‘EU citizens are’. He’s put ‘We should’ before ‘stop’, ‘this issue’ instead of ‘it’, ‘seems’ instead of ‘is’ and added the otiose ‘too’ at the end.