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Geert Bourgeois to the British: “Just stay with us”
“Just stay with us.” During a speech to the diplomatic corps, Flemish Minister-President Geert Bourgeois made the ultimate appeal to the British political world not to leave the European Union on 29 March. He referred to the historical ties between Flanders and Great Britain. “During the commemorations of the First World War ‘In Flanders Fields’, I visited incredibly beautiful cemeteries in memory and honour of those brave British soldiers. I cannot possibly emphasise enough how grateful I will always be to the United Kingdom for that,” said the Minister-President.
Britain’s voice is important in the European Union, according to Minister-President Bourgeois. “Today there are quite a few countries in the EU that have more or less the same concerns as many British people. Let us engage in a substantive debate on this, but then within the fold of a reformed EU. The EU can only benefit if we can have a healthy democratic debate in which all kinds of ways of thinking, including the British, are fully taken into account.”
Geert Bourgeois therefore calls on the British to stay with the European Union after March 29. “Here, in the presence of a large part of the international community, I make an explicit and very warm appeal to my fellow British politicians not to leave the EU. Cherish our historic and lastingof friendship, continue to enjoy the economies of scale, remain one of the great tenors in the EU and consequently also on the world stage. Just stay with us.”