Amid the ongoing Brexit impasse among British lawmakers, a group of prominent Germans including the woman in line to take over for Angela Merkel as chancellor is urging Britain to stay in the European Union, saying they would miss milk with tea and post-work beers.
The open letter sent to The Times – signed by businessmen, politicians, and others – argues that “from the bottom of our hearts” Britain should not leave the political and economic bloc.
“Britain has become part of who we are as Europeans,” the letter says. “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.”
The impassioned plea also makes reference to the U.K.’s role in post-war Europe and the two countries' shared histories.
“Without your great nation, this Continent would not be what it is today,” they wrote, adding that the U.K. did “not give up on us” and welcomed Germany back into the European community.
“This we, as Germans, have not forgotten and we are grateful.”
The letter was also somewhat tongue-in-cheek, saying that they would also miss “the legendary British black humor,” after-work trips to the pub, as well as “tea with milk and driving on the left-hand side of the road.”
“And we would miss seeing the panto at Christmas,” the letter continues. “But more than anything else, we would miss the British people – our friends across the Channel.”
Annegret Kramp-Karrenauer, who became the leader of the center-right Christian Democratic Union last month and will likely succeed Merkel as German chancellor, was the most high-profile signatory of the letters. Others included business leaders like the president of the Federation of German industries and senior executives at Daimler and Airbus, as well as former German soccer player Jen Lehmann and singer Campino.
The letter comes as former U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Theresa May’s Brexit deal – which failed in a parliament vote earlier this week – is “deceased” and urged her to return to Brussels and use the defeat as leverage for a better deal from the E.U. leaders.
He dodged a question of whether he would support May as party leader if a sudden general election is called, saying one wouldn't be necessary.
"Go back to Brussels and get a better deal," he urged May, even though E.U. leaders have said the withdrawal agreement won't be renegotiated.
May will publish her revived Brexit blueprint on Monday, before lawmakers debate it on Jan. 29.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.