EU Referendum: Arsène Wenger, Per Mertesacker, Gérard Houllier, Raymond Blanc and other Europeans write love letter to British people

James Nickerson
Follow James
Manchester City v Arsenal - Premier League
Wenger thinks bonds of affection tie nations together (Source: Getty)

A group of restaurateurs, footballers, managers, film makers - in fact, you name it - have got together to write a love letter to the British people.

Behind the letter was an Austrian, a Frenchman and a Greek.

But the signatories are far more varied, including the likes of Arsène Wenger, Per Mertesacker, Gérard Houllier and Raymond Blanc, as well as mathematicians, biologists and filmmakers.

Read more: Will leaving the European Union lead to more sovereignty for the UK?

The letter wrote: "Sir, – All of us in Europe respect the right of the British people to decide whether they wish to remain with us in the European Union. 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.

"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. Britain, please stay."

They now join the likes of FTSE 100 bosses and creative industry professionals from the UK in backing a Remain vote.

Read more: Is Labour damaging its chances in 2020 by campaigning to remain in the European Union?

In the preamable, Philippe Auclair, Apostolos Doxiadis and Robert Rotifer said they were not trying to sell a position or buy favours. "It’s not a tract or a manifesto, and it’s certainly not a lecture. You can call it a love letter, if you will," the wrote in The Times Literary Supplement.

"We shared our letter with people across Europe, people who have distinguished themselves in all sorts of different activities, Nobel Prize-holders and international footballers, great writers and scientists, film directors and composers, architects and mathematicians.

"We were not surprised when they signed it too. We believe that the sheer variety and number of signatories demonstrates the point we set out to make in our letter: just how wide and deep is the affection felt for Britain across our shared continent. Below you can read our letter and its signatories."