Cyprus was the odd man out when more than 120 MEPs from every corner of EU signed heartfelt letter asking the British people to reconsider Brexit.
The plea comes from 26 member states and across the European parliament’s different political groups, Cyprus was the only country not to add its voice urging for the bloc to stay together and avoid disaster.
People are now asking why this was allowed to happen.
Stephanos Ioannou, Conservative councillor (of Cypriot origin) for Southgate in North London tweeted: “Is this an actual joke?! Almost half a million Cypriots here in the U.K., and we couldn’t even get one MEP from Cyprus to say, ‘we want you back’. I hope they didn’t fall for lie about an even closer relationship with the commonwealth. Not impressed.”
The cross-party message, orchestrated by an Austrian MEP and signed by 129 of his colleagues, says the continent is “looking with growing anxiety” across the Channel to events occurring in Britain.
“We are reluctant to intervene in your domestic politics, but we cannot help but notice that the opinion polls show a growing number of voters who want an opportunity to reconsider the Brexit decision, now that it is clear that Brexit is very different to the promises made by the Leave campaign nearly three years ago,” the MEPs say.
The representatives – who come from conservative, liberal, socialist and green groups – add that though they respect and regret the decision of the UK to leave, “any British decision to remain in the EU would be warmly welcomed by us and we would work with you to reform and improve the European Union, so that it works better in the interests of all citizens”.
The rallying call comes amid meltdown in Westminster over Brexit, with MPs set to reject the deal negotiated by the Prime Minister Theresa May.
“The only country whose MEPs all passed on signing the letter was Cyprus, the union’s third smallest member – but it otherwise draws signatories from every part of the continent,” reported the UK’s Independent newspaper.
“We have greatly appreciated the enormous impact British politicians and citizens have contributed to the European project over the last 40 years. We would miss the extraordinary expertise of our British colleagues,” the MEPs say, adding that they would support the withdrawal of Article 50.
“We ask you to reconsider to leave our union in the interest of the next generation of young people, British and Europeans, who will lose out on the opportunities of living, loving and working together. Brexit will weaken all of us. We want you to stay. Together, we are stronger and together we can build a stronger Europe.”
Notable MEPs on the list include Udo Bullmann, the leader of the socialist group in the parliament, and Philippe Lamberts, the Green group leader. It was also signed by Elmar Brok, the German MEP from Angela Merkel’s CDU group who sits on the parliament’s Brexit steering group, the Independent reported.
It was put together by Josef Weidenholzer, from the Austrian centre-left SPOe.