German Chancellor Angela Merkel's protege yesterday appealed to the British to stay in the European Union, saying her compatriots had not forgotten how Britain welcomed Germany back as a sovereign nation after World War Two.
Conservative leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who succeeded Merkel as leader of the Christian Democrats, joined German politicians, industrialists and artists in a last-minute plea to Britons as the clock ticks down to Brexit in 70 days.
"Without your great nation, this continent would not be what it is today," they said in the letter, which was published in The Times newspaper.
"After the horrors of the Second World War, Britain did not give up on us. It has welcomed Germany back as a sovereign nation and a European power."
Besides war and peace, they outlined some of the more quirky qualities which they said they would miss if Britain left the club it joined in 1973.
"We would miss the legendary British black humour and going to the pub after work hours to drink an ale. We would miss tea with milk and driving on the left-hand side of the road. And we would miss seeing the panto at Christmas."
"But more than anything else, we would miss the British people — our friends across the Channel," they said.
Meanwhile, , EU officials said yesterday Prime Minister Theresa May will talk by telephone to EU president Jean-Claude Juncker at the British leader's request.
May and Juncker have only been in touch by text message since Tuesday, when the British parliament rejected their Brexit divorce deal.
"President Juncker will talk to Prime Minister May today early afternoon at her request," European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said.
"I don't know how decisive or not this will be."
British politicians are now wrangling over how to get out of the impasse, which could see Britain crash out of the union without a deal on March 29.
EU leaders have so far ruled out renegotiating the agreement, but have signalled they could postpone the withdrawal if May comes up with a plan.