Tuesday, 21 June 2016


"An EU without Britain would be like tea without milk. Bitter."

In mainland Europe, voices encouraging Britain to leave the EU are hard to find:


Germany: “Please don’t go!”

Der Spiegel, Germany’s biggest news magazine, wrote the following in a special bilingual issue:
“Britain is a bridge between Europe and the US. If Britain leaves the EU on this side of the Atlantic while Donald Trump becomes president on the other, then seemingly permanent alliances will wobble, and a weakened Europe would end up alone, helpless amid myriad global crises.
“If the right-wing populists grow stronger, because Europe suddenly weakens and shrinks just as they are on the rise, what will remain of the ideal of tolerant and progressive cooperation that defines the west?
“So if Britain is clever, it will realise that it is not a world power on its own, that it will lose much with a yes to Brexit on June 23, and gain nothing but a brief moment of pride…
“The day after the vote, the British should understand that they themselves helped create this detested Europe that they were so close to leaving, and start building a better one.”


France: “The country which cornered Napoleon cannot succumb to Nigel Farage.”

In an editorial written in English, Le Monde compared Brexit to France’s experience of defeat at the Battle of Waterloo:
“Defeat does not come easily to a proud nation. On June 18th, 1815, France did not only lose thousands of its brave soldiers on the gory fields of Belgium. It lost an Emperor, whom the English then took into permanent exile on the desolate island of St Helena; it also lost its dream of hegemony…
“Messieurs les Anglais, don’t let the sirens of a fake independence pull you away from the continent. Just as in 1815, your future is in Europe.”


The Netherlands:

"A letter to our beloved Britons"

“Hello Britain, this is your neighbour calling. Please don’t leave us. Of course, there will always be a Great Britain, anchored only 20 miles from the continent. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, we feel at ease in your amazing country. Since our King William III (of Orange) married your Queen Mary II (of England) we have been related anyway.
“Nobody in Britain appreciates your culture more than we do. The Beatles, Bridget Jones, One Direction, Eastenders, Brideshead Revisited, we love it all. Many of us know Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch by heart. We admire your stiff upper lip. And every year we remember, with the greatest respect, all those who have fallen to liberate our country.
“Now you are thinking of leaving us. Sailing out your floating country towards distant shores, so says your largest newspaper, The Sun. Talking to a Dutch uncle, we have to tell you this is not a good idea. We not only love you, we need you. Who else supports us in keeping some common sense on this turbulent continent of ours. An EU without the UK would be like tea without milk. Bitter.
“So please stay. Stay with us. 
Best wishes, your neighbours.”

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  1. Oh Karin - thank you for posting these positive and welcoming messages from mainland Europe. My family and I will all be voting to remain tomorrow and dearly wishing for an outcome that keeps us united. Karen xxx

  2. These are wonderful messages, Karin. I do hope the vote will be to stay with Europe.

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