129 MEPs from 26 of the 27 EU member states have signed a letter to the UK urging people to reconsider leaving the bloc. They say that the current Brexit outcome is very different to what the Leave campaign promised.
The cross-party message was organised by an Austrian MEP and said that the EU is “looking with growing anxiety” at events happening in Britain. It also said that “any British decision to remain in the EU would be warmly welcomed”.
The only country in the EU that refused to sign the letter was Cyprus, which is the third smallest member of the union.
“We are reluctant to intervene in your domestic politics, but we cannot help but notice that the opinion polls show a growing number of voters who want an opportunity to reconsider the Brexit decision, now that it is clear that Brexit is very different to the promises made by the Leave campaign nearly three years ago.”
Notable MEPs on the list include Udo Bullmann, the leader of the socialist group in the parliament, and Philippe Lamberts, the Green group leader. It was also signed by Elmar Brok, the German MEP from Angela Merkel’s CDU group who sits on the parliament’s Brexit steering group.
British Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder said of the letter:
“It’s touching to hear from so many MEPs, from so many countries and across the party divides that they value the Brits and want us to stay.
“They respect our decision, but have been clear all along: we are stronger when we work together inside the EU.”
The intervention comes amid turmoil in Westminster over Brexit, with MPs set to reject the deal negotiated by the prime minister. However, this letter could give more power to Brexiteers, who could use it to claim that the fact that the EU want the UK to remain leaves Britain with more negotiating power.
The full letter, posted on the S&D party’s website reads:
Dear citizens of the United Kingdom
As friends of your country, we are looking with growing anxiety at the unfolding of Brexit disaster that will be harmful for both Britain and Europe. We are reluctant to intervene in your domestic politics, but we cannot help but notice that the opinion polls show a growing number of voters who want an opportunity to re-consider the Brexit decision, now that it is clear that Brexit is very different to the promises made by the Leave campaign nearly three years ago.
Nevertheless we regret the decision made by the British people we understand the need to respect it. Leaving without a deal would be a disaster for everyone involved – UK and EU citizens alike. Any British decision to remain in the EU would be warmly welcomed by us and we would work with you to reform and improve the European Union, so that it works better in the interests of all citizens.
Indeed, should the UK decide to withdraw the article 50 letter received by the President of the European Council, then we as Members of the European Parliament would support it. We have greatly appreciated the enormous impact British politicians and citizens have contributed to the European project over the last 40 years. We would miss the extraordinary expertise of our British colleagues.
We ask you to reconsider to leave our Union in the interest of the next generation of young people, British and Europeans, who will lose out on the opportunities of living, loving and working together. Brexit will weaken all of us. We want you to stay. Together, we are stronger and together we can build a stronger Europe.