European celebrities sign ‘love letter’ to Britain, hoping for its stay in EU

LONDON: ABBA star Bjorn Ulvaeus and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger were among 140 European celebrities who signed a “love letter to the British people” on Thursday, hoping they will stay in the European Union.


The letter, also signed by Dutch film director Paul Verhoeven, French former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier and French-American actress Julie Delpy, comes with exactly three weeks to go until the June 23 referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

“It is not just treaties that join us to your country but bonds of admiration and affection. All of us hope that you will vote to renew them,” said the letter published in the Times Literary Supplement magazine.

French “Highlander” star Christopher Lambert, model and actress Isabella Rossellini and restaurateur Raymond Blanc were also among the signatories.

“It is your decision, and we will all accept it. Nevertheless, if it will help the undecided to make up their minds, we would like to express how very much we value having the United Kingdom in the European Union,” the letter said.

Opinion polls estimate that up to a fifth of British voters have yet to make up their minds.

Excluding the undecideds, the “Remain” camp is at 51 per cent against 49 per cent for “Leave” according to the WhatUKThinks poll of polls average on Thursday.

Meanwhile Prime Minister David Cameron said staying in EU was essential to protect the environment and give Britain a strong voice in global talks on climate change.

He made the claim as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the World Wide Fund for Nature-UK, which have 1.7 million supporters, all came out for the “Remain” campaign.

“EU membership underpins many crucial environmental protections in the UK, while amplifying our voice in the world on vital issues like cutting global emissions,” he said.

RSPB chief executive Mike Clarke said: “We have always believed that, because nature transcends national boundaries, it needs cross-border co-operation to protect it”.