Times Letters: ‘German friends’ urge Britain to stay in EU, 18.01.2019

Times Letters: ‘German friends’ urge Britain to stay in EU

Sir, Without your great nation, this Continent would not be, what it is today: a community defined by freedom and prosperity. After the horrors of the Second World War, Britain did not give up on us. It has welcomed Germany back as a sovereign nation and a European power. This we, as Germans, have not forgotten and we are grateful.

Because we realise that the freedom we enjoy as Europeans today has in many ways been built and defended by the British people, we want Britons to know that we respect their choice. It is theirs, not ours. And should Britain wish to leave the European Union for good, it will always have friends in Germany and Europe. But Britons should equally know that we believe that no choice is irreversible. Our door will always remain open: Europe is home.

Britain has become part of who we are as Europeans. And therefore we would miss Britain. We would miss the legendary British black humour and going to the pub after work hours to drink an ale. We would miss tea with milk and driving on the left-hand side of the road. And we would miss seeing the panto at Christmas. There are many more things that we would miss. But more than anything else, we would miss the British people — our friends across the Channel. We would miss Britain as part of the European Union, especially in these troubled times.

Therefore Britons should know: from the bottom of our hearts, we want them to stay.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer – Party Leader, Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU)
Andrea Nahles – Party and Parliamentary Group Leader, Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD)
Annalena Baerbock – Party Leader, Alliance 90/The Greens
Robert Habeck – Party Leader, Alliance 90/The Greens
Norbert Röttgen – Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Bundestag, Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU)
Franziska Brantner – Spokesperson for European Affairs, Alliance 90/The Greens
Achim Post – Deputy Chairman of the SPD Parliamentary Group
Cem Özdemir – Chairman of the Committee on Transport and Digital Infrastructure of the German Bundestag, Alliance 90/The Greens
Reiner Hoffmann – President, German Trade Union Confederation (DGB)
Dieter Kempf – President, Federation of German Industries (BDI)
Ingo Kramer – President, Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (BDA)
Eric Schweitzer - President, Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK)
Hans Peter Wollseifer – President, German Confederation of Skilled Crafts (ZDH)
Dieter Zetsche – Chairman of the Board of Management, Daimler AG
Thomas Enders – hief Executive Officer, Airbus
Frank Bsirske – Chairman, ver.di (United Services Union)
Dieter Schwarz – Merchant
Heinrich Bedford-Strohm – Chairman, Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD)
Hans-Henning Horstmannn – Chairman, German-British Society
Margret Wintermantel – President, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
Hans-Christian Pape – President, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Klaus-Dieter Lehmann – President, Goethe-Institut
Norbert Lammert – Chairman, Konrad Adenauer Foundation
Kurt Beck – Chairman, Friedrich Ebert Foundation
Ellen Ueberschär – President, Heinrich Böll Foundation
Karl-Heinz Paqué – Chairman, Friedrich Naumann Foundation
Aart De Geus – Chairman and CEO, Bertelsmann Stiftung
Jens Lehmann – Former Goalkeeper, German National Football Team
Campino – Lead Vocalist “Die Toten Hosen”
Igor Levit – Pianist
Carolin Emcke – Writer
Florian Hoffmann – Founder and Managing Director, Berlin DO School

Published in The Times, 18.01.2019