Open Letter to the British People

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OPEN LETTER TO THE UK AND ITS PEOPLE

 Dear Britain, 

On the 23rd of June a majority of your electorate chose to leave the EU. As deeply as this may sadden some of us, this letter is not a plea to undo the referendum result. We respect your political system and the decisions your country makes as an expression of its sovereignty. We are writing to you about what will happen now, we are writing to you to assure you of our best intentions, and of our desire to not jeopardise the relationships we have made over decades, even centuries, of co-operation.

Theresa May has put forward that a hard (‘clean’) Brexit is the correct course of action. She has been fostering close relationships with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, and Donald Trump, President of the United States. Indeed, she wants to achieve trade (and defense) deals with them, which she hopes will strengthen Britain outside the Single Market. Some of you (sometimes reluctantly) agree with this direction, because you have been told that Europe is spiteful, that Britain will come out of the negotiations with a bad deal because the European Union wants to punish you. We are writing you to tell you that we do not want to ‘cut off our nose to spite our face’. We, as the people, the citizens of several Member States, want to tell you, the people of Britain, that we are willing to negotiate a deal which is good for all. We ARE willing to come together over our similarities, not punish each other over our differences. A bad deal – or no deal, and an application of WTO trade standards alone – will hurt all of us.

Brexit can happen without political bloodshed. If we do not engage in negative discourse about the other – and do not let our politicians and our media engage in such negative, unfounded discourse, we can come together to create a new partnership, as opposed to a future of tension and fractured relations. A future relationship can take on many forms, and we are not writing this to tell you which way is best. Indeed, most EU citizens don’t have a conclusive view of what you should do. It is only when we accept it when hostility becomes the norm that we are assured of a bad outcome. No one likes to talk with someone who makes them out to be the bad guy. So we urge both the UK politicians and media, as well as the politicians and media ‘on the continent’ to not indulge in unhelpful, antipathetic rhetoric.

More importantly, we want you, the people, to know that we value your culture, your Monty Python, your roast dinners, your Princes William and Harry, your unfaltering politeness, your tea and biscuits… We want to foster our existing relationships with Britain. We want to continue celebrating with our university mates in Leeds, Sheffield, London, Glasgow… We want to continue teasing our friends and family from Birmingham, Edinburgh, Bristol and Liverpool. We want to continue working with our colleagues from Bradford, Manchester and Belfast. We want to build a future with Britain as our ally.

 

Yours sincerely,

Your friends in the EU



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