Bonn/London, 18 January 2019

“Stop Brexit and stay with us!” – DAAD President Prof. Wintermantel signs joint appeal to the Britons

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The party leaders of the CDU, SPD and Greens and other signatories have called on the Britons to remain in the EU. In a letter to the British newspaper The Times on Friday, they wrote that they respected the British decision, but that no decision was irreversible. “Our door will always remain open.” DAAD President Prof. Wintermantel also signed the appeal.

Times Letters 'German friends' urge Britain to stay in the EU
The Times of London/Twitter

Tweet citing the letter 

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 (Paywall):

You can find the editorial from The Times here (Paywall):

Dear Germans, the British will remain your friends

“Dear Germans, the British will remain your friends”, do British politicians and personalities answer in Die Welt on 1 February 2019. Click here to read the text (German) signed by, among others, House of Lords member Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Member of Parliament Sir Nicholas Soames (both Tory party) and former national soccer player Gary Lineker.

Please direct any questions to:

Bjoern Wilck
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DAAD – German Academic Exchange Service
Tel.: +49 (0)228 882-454