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Under normal circumstances we would not interfere in how people vote in other countries. That is a matter for the national politicians and their voters. But when it comes to this Thursday’s referendum on whether Britain should leave the EU, it concerns us too.
We simply cannot do without you. We care about you and we are attached to you through the European community. Denmark and Great Britain, two strong monarchies, joined the Common Market together in 1973. We celebrated our silver anniversary long ago. And though we have not seen eye to eye on all matters since then, we stand together and share a common understanding in many vital areas. Without the British voice in the Council of Ministers, the European Parliament and in the debate on the future of Europe, something would be missing.
That is why you should stay. As a nation, we in Denmark understand your scepticism about the EU, perhaps better than any other country. Three times we voted no – in 1992, 2000 and 2015 – but never out. We share your opposition to the EU turning into a social state and interfering overzealously and unnecessarily in matters that should be handled at a national level. We are just as concerned as you with the refugee crisis and what it means to our society. And we share many of your views on migrant workers. The European labour market should not be a free-for-all when it comes to public services. But the solution is not – for you or for us – to leave. Let us stay and fight for pragmatic, better and more sustainable European solutions. We have time on our side, and we are far stronger together than apart. »United we stand, divided we fall,« as you say.
Britain’s voice in the EU is important – both for us in Denmark and for the rest of Europe. Your persistent fight for free trade and breaking down regulation and bureaucracy is a driving force and one that helps us work together to stem the harmful protectionism which might start to dominate an EU without Britain. Brexit would be a loss to Europe but also a major economic loss to you. Almost half of all your exports go to countries in the EU, and the prosperity and progress that Europe has seen over decades are in many ways due to a strong internal market and a systematic breaking down of barriers to trade and economic interaction. We need to continue this work together. One thing is bacon and Lurpak butter, which we are happy to send West in plenty supply. But another thing is the common values that we share and that will make Europe stronger and richer in the future.
Your economic strength carries significant weight, as do your strong Atlantic ties to the US and your historic influence throughout the world. But we have stood the strongest when Europe has been able to speak with one voice, be it in the Middle East and North Africa, in relation to Russia, or in the fight against terrorism.
And that is not all. You should stay with us because we like you so much. Because we understand you and love your sarcasm, your realism and your robust tradition of political debate. And because we have the same sense of humour and the same instinctive scepticism of Eurofanatics and any know-it-all who put themselves on a piedestal.
Please stay with us.
Læs lederen i dansk udgave: Please stay
- Oversættelse: Bibi Christensen