‘Please Don’t Go,’ Germany’s Leading Magazine Urges Britons

  • Der Spiegel dedicates issue to Brexit debate, cuts price
  • Cover story warns leaving would be ‘catastrophe for everyone’

Germany’s biggest news magazine Der Spiegel threw its hat into the Brexit ring with a special edition, thicker and cheaper than usual, adorned with an image of the Union Jack and the German plea "Bitte geht nicht!" or "Please don’t go!"

The issue that hit newsstands on Saturday costs 2 pounds, rather than the usual 5.20, in Britain and features 23 extra pages to accommodate English translations of all articles pertaining to Brexit. In no uncertain terms, it tells British readers "it’s smarter to stay."

The appeal includes an interview with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on the economic consequences of a British withdrawal, an article on the efforts of a Berlin and London-residing artist to convince Britain to stay, as well as a feature on BMW’s rescue of the iconic Mini as an example of a German-British success story. The issue argued that "Brexit would be a catastrophe for everyone" and went ablaze on Twitter using the hashtag #pleasedontgo.

Love Vows

"We can no longer convince the British to love the EU. It’s too late for that," Spiegel wrote in the cover story. "But perhaps we should use this opportunity to mention how much the rest of Europe admires them. It’s unbelievable that they don’t seem to see how much they’ve shaped the continent, how much we value them here, how close we Germans feel to them -- that too is part of the story."

The German magazine’s effort to sway British voters comes after policymakers including Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen have expressed concern over the possible departure of the U.K. from the European Union following a referendum scheduled for June 23. With less than two weeks to go before the vote, the uncertainty has also spread to financial markets. A poll published late Friday showed the ‘Leave’ campaign taking a 10 percentage-point lead, sending sterling plunging to its lowest since April against the dollar.

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