German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called on Britain to wield influence within the EU, rather than voting to leave later this month.
Speaking at a Berlin press conference alongside Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg, Merkel stressed that she personally hoped the UK would vote to stay.
Merkel said: “You will never get a really good result in negotiations, particularly on very important issues, when you're not in the room and giving input.
“I personally hope and wish that Britain will stay part and parcel of the European Union.
“We work well together with the United Kingdom, particularly perhaps when we talk about new rules for the European Union.”
She added: “We have to develop those together with the United Kingdom and whenever we negotiate that, you can much better have an influence on the debate when you sit at the bargaining table and you can give input into those negotiations.
“The result will invariably be better when you have that, rather than being outside of the room.”
It comes as European Central Bank president Mario Draghi has also argued that the UK should remain in the EU, calling Brexit a risk to the global economy.