It may be shutting the stable door after the horse has pretty nearly bolted, but in a leader written by the editor of the debate section of Berlingske, Pierre Collignon, the influential newspaper puts a powerful case for the UK to remain in the EU.
Addressed to our “British friends” and stating that the paper respects the result of the June 2016 vote, Collignon goes on to say that “we simply hate to see you leave.”
Collignon put forward a list of the UK’s virtues, including the country’s sacrifice during WWII, its defence of democratic values, and its championing of human rights, free trade and the transatlantic partnership.
The UK is also praised for its “indispensable voice for a commonsensical and liberal approach to problem solving”.
On the minus side, Collignon pointed out: “The visceral seems to have won over the pragmatic in the British approach to European politics, and the result is a huge loss of British influence and complete confusion about the handling of Brexit.”
He laments the downright hostility in parts of the UK press and political establishment to anything that smacks of Europe or Brussels, mentioning the “wildly misleading stories or outright lies being floated about awful eurocrats”.
He goes on to point out that the UK is not alone in having concerns about certain aspects of Europe and national sovereignty, reminding us that Denmark has had eight referendums about EU issues since 1972, resulting in three ‘no’ votes and five ‘yes’ votes, thus providing the foundation of Denmark’s ‘opt-outs’.
Collignon concludes by saying it is right that the UK is debating its role within Europe, but wants more clarity on what kind of Brexit the UK wants.
“The UK is obviously harmed by the current Brexit confusion and the risk of leaving the EU with no deal at all. It really looks like a monumental act of self-harm,” he said.
“But Europe is hurting too. So we cannot help but hope that you will have second thoughts and delay your departure. More time is needed to secure a proper deal – and maybe even allow for a new referendum.”
The article is available here.