Eastern European leaders want the UK to stay in the EU

Jake Cordell
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The UK's vote on EU membership is gathering attention across the continent
The UK's vote on EU membership is gathering attention across the continent (Source: Getty)

Eastern European leaders have called on the UK to vote to stay in the European Union later this month, saying that the UK is a strong force for dealing with Europe’s upcoming challenges.

The prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, the so-called Visegrad Group (V4), issued a joint statement yesterday outlining their “shared strong and sincere interest in the UK remaining in the EU.”

Read more: Net migration stays above 300,000 in the run-up to the referendum

Speaking at the conclusion of a summit in Prague, three weeks before Slovakia takes over the presidency of the European Union, the leaders said:

“The V4 countries support the continuation of the UK’s EU members, because only then can Europe cope with the far-from-easy challenges which it is facing … coping with them will be easier with the UK remaining a member of the EU.”

The endorsement could cause headaches for David Cameron and the Remain side. The V4 proved a major stumbling block during David Cameron’s renegotiating in February, reportedly driving a hard line over his attempts to curb free movement.

Leave campaigners have also put immigration at the heart of their calls to leave the EU, arguing that the UK could introduce an Australian-style points based system and focus on skilled migration after Brexit.

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