THE home of the European Union has issued a desperate plea begging Britons to vote Remain in today’s historic referendum. Belgian newspaper Le Soir urged the UK to “stay with us”, warning a Brexit would be a “huge failure for the EU”.
In an editorial published as Britons head to the polls, the liberal newspaper said: “We want Britons to stay with us.
“This choice corresponds to the conviction deeply rooted in this newspaper that a consolidated and responsible union is the best way to achieve a shared prosperity and guarantee peace and a harmonious coexistence. “Without the UK – and what’s more a break up of the state – Europe would be significantly weaker.”
Commenting on Britain’s strained relation with the EU, Le Soir said London had “rejected, delegitimised or blocked every form of integration” put forward by its fellow 27 member states – from joining the Euro to the Schengen zone.
The newspaper accused British political leaders of never accepting what the EU stands for – “a tighter union which is essential political and federal”.
The editorial said it wasn’t “telling Britons how to vote”, but added: “Even if it’s for Britons to decide today, it’s only normal that we tell them if we want to see them leave or remain”.
Warning of the dangers of a domino effect if Britain leaves the EU, the newspaper said: “We’re not fooling ourselves: the exit of one of the three biggest member states and one of only two European military powers, which at the same time has the most dynamic economy and one of the biggest magnets on the planet – notably for culture – would simply represent a huge failure for the EU.
“If we decide what differentiates the UK from the other 27 member states is more important than what links us together, that would be a failure for the idea of the union.”
Conservative newspaper La Libre said the UK is “playing with fire” and a vote to Leave the EU is “leaping into the unknown”.