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German Magazine Der Spiegel Urges Britain 'Please Don't Go' In Special European Union Referendum Edition

'Perceptive, generous and quite touching.'

10/06/2016 21:15

The latest edition of a German magazine will implore Britain "please don't go" in a special European Union referendum edition, which will hit newsstands tomorrow morning.

Der Spiegel's June 11, 2016 issue will explain "why Germany needs the British" in an edition that has been hailed as "generous" and "touching".

Der Spiegel is one of Europe's largest publications, with a weekly circulation of about 800,000.

The issue will have 23 pages written in English and articles featured in Saturday's edition have been tweeted with #pleasedontgo accompanying them.

Der Spiegel has reduced the cost of tomorrow's edition from £5.20 to £2.

The magazine's editor-in-chief Klaus Brinkbaeumer said Saturday's cover story would contain a range of reasons why the EU cannot do without Britain.

"The result is an objective but also strong, emotional - and bilingual - appeal to the country: Please don't go!" Brinkbaeumer said in a statement on Friday.

In an editorial, the magazine argues that, although it might be too late "to convince the British to love the EU, perhaps we should use this opportunity to mention how much the rest of Europe admires them. 

"It's unbelievable that they don't seem to see how much they've shaped the continent, how much we value them here, how close we Germans feel to them."

It continues: “Germany has always looked across the Channel with some degree of envy.

“On our emotional map of Europe, the Italians were responsible for love and good food, the French for beauty and elegance and the Brits for nonchalance and progress.

"They have an inner independence that we Germans lack, in addition to myriad anti-authoritarian, defiant tendencies. A lot of what happened in Britain spilled over to us sooner or later, reinforcing our cultural ties.”

That passage has been commended for being "perceptive" and "generous".

While the move was welcomed by many, others fear that the magazine urging Britons to stay in the EU may have the opposite effect.

The magazine, which is one of the most influential in Germany, paid homage to British cultural exports, ranging from James Bond to Twiggy's haircut.

A poll conducted for Der Spiegel found that 79% of Germans wanted Britain to remain in the EU.

On Thursday, June 23, Britons will take to the polls and cast their vote to decide whether the country remains or leave the EU.

A fiery six-way debate which aired on ITV on Thursday evening showed campaigners from each side putting forward their case why the UK should stay or leave the EU.

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