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A love letter to the British people, from Europe

Sir, – Three European citizens, an Austrian, a Frenchman and a Greek, got together one evening and wrote a short letter to the British people. We were not trying to sell a position or buy favours. It’s not a tract or a manifesto, and it’s certainly not a lecture. You can call it a love letter, if you will.

We shared our letter with people across Europe, people who have distinguished themselves in all sorts of different activities, Nobel Prize-holders and international footballers, great writers and scientists, film directors and composers, architects and mathematicians. We were not surprised when they signed it too. We believe that the sheer variety and number of signatories demonstrates the point we set out to make in our letter: just how wide and deep is the affection felt for Britain across our shared continent. Below you can read our letter and its signatories.

Philippe Auclair, Apostolos Doxiadis, Robert Rotifer

Sir, – All of us in Europe respect the right of the British people to decide whether they wish to remain with us in the European Union. It is your decision, and we will all accept it. Nevertheless, if it will help the undecided to make up their minds, we would like to express how very much we value having the United Kingdom in the European Union. It is not just treaties that join us to your country, but bonds of admiration and affection. All of us hope that you will vote to renew them. Britain, please stay.

Dario Alessi (IT), FRS, biochemist

Alain Aspect (FR), Foreign Member of the Royal Society, Académie des Sciences, physicist

Michka Assayas (FR), Music critic, essayist and novelist

Olivier Assayas (FR), Film director

Clemens Auersperg (AUT), Rower, first Austrian to win Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race as part of the 2016 Cambridge crew

Pascal Aussignac (FR), chef and restaurateur (Le Club Gascon), winner of the 2013 Craft Guild of Chefs ‘Chef of the Year’ award

Clara Auvray (FR), classicist

Jean-Pierre Bacri (FR), Actor, screenwriter, five-time César Award winner

Luis Baena (POR), Chef

Guillem Balague (SP), Author, columnist and broadcaster

Sebastian Barry (IRE), Novelist, author of The Secret Scripture, 2008 Costa Book of the Year

Nathalie Baye (FR), Actress, four-time César winner

Serge Betsen (FR), Rugby union international, ex-Wasps, two-time winner of the Six Nations Grand Slam, former captain of France’s national team (sixty-three caps)

Susanne Bier (DEN), Academy Award winner, director

Raymond Blanc (FR), Chef

Philipp Blom (GER), Essayist and historian

Tommy Bowe (IRE), Rugby union international, capped sixty-four times by Ireland, 2010 RBS 6 Nations tournament Player of the Year, twice selected for the British Lions

Alfred Brendel (AUT), Pianist, poet and author, Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, recipient of multiple international awards, 2011 Julliard medallist, voted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame (2012)

Maarten Buijs (NDL), Architect, designer of Schiphol airport and London’s Jubilee Gardens

Bertrand Burgalat (FR), Composer and producer

Andrea Camilleri (IT), Novelist (“Montalbano”)

Mircea Cartarescu (ROM), Writer

Javier Cercas (SP), Novelist

Philippe Claudel (FR), Novelist (Grey Souls, 2003 Renaudot Prize) and director (I’ve Loved You So Long), winner of the 2009 BAFTA Best Foreign Film Award

Christian Clavier (FR), Actor and screenwriter, two-time César nominee

Hans Clevers (NDL), geneticist, Scientific Director of the Princess Maxima Centre for Pediatric Oncology

Anton Corbijn (NDL), Photographer and filmmaker

Avelino Corma Canós (SP), Foreign Member of the Royal Society, chemist

Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne (BEL), Filmmakers, two-time winners of Cannes Palme d’Or

Stanislas Dehaene (FR), Académie des Sciences, neuroscientist

Julie Delpy (FR), Actress, director and screenwriter, two-time Academy Award and three-time César nominee

Ray Dolan (IRE), FRS, neurologist

Richard Dubugnon (FR), Composer, winner of the 2015 Grand Prix de la SACEM, France’s most prestigious music award

Charles Dumont (FR), creator of some of Edith Piaf’s most famous songs

Ken Early (IRE), Columnist and broadcaster

Elena Ferrante (pseudonym) (IT), novelist

Angela Friederici (GER), German Academy of Sciences, Director Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, neuropsychologist

Uta Frith (GER), DBE, FRS, FBA, psychologist

Peter Fudakowski (POL), Academy Award-winning producer (Tsotsi)

Chiara Gamberale (IT), Novelist and TV producer, author of La zona cieca, winner of the 2008 Premio Campiello

Nicole Garcia (FR), Actress, screenwriter and director

Costa-Gavras (GR), Academy Award winning filmmaker

Julie Gavras (FR), Director

Jan Gehl (DEN), Architect, winner of the Sir Patrick Abercrombie Prize, member of the British Academy of Urbanism

Paolo Giordano (IT), Novelist, author of The Solitude of Prime Numbers(2008 Strega Prize)

Michel Goedert (LUX), FRS, neuroscientist

Marleen Gorris (NDL), First woman director to win an Oscar

Louise Gunning-Schepers (NDL), President of the Royal Holland Society of Science

Jean-Pierre Hansen (LUX), FRS, chemist

Riitta Hari (FIN), Finnish Academy of Sciences, neuroscientist

Michael Häusser (GER), FRS, biologist

Hermann Hauser (AUT), KBE, FRS, physicist

Sofia Helin (SWE), Actress, The Bridge

André Heller (AUT), actor, writer, event artist and chansonnier

Paulus Hochgatterer (AUT), Novelist, EU Prize for Literature

Barbara Hohn (AUT), Foreign Member of the Royal Society, molecular biologist

Agnieszka Holland (POL), Screenwriter and director

Raphael Honigstein (GER), Journalist, author and broadcaster

Gérard Houllier (FR), Ex-Liverpool manager

Elfriede Jelinek (AUT), Nobel Prize for Literature 2004

Jorge De Juan (SP), Actor and theatre director, winner of the Franscisco Rabal film award

Dieter Kosslick (GER), Director of the Berlin Film Festival (Berlinale)

Christophe Lambert (FR), Actor, César award winner (Subway).

Yorgos Lanthimos (GR), Filmmaker, double winner of Cannes Festival’s Grand Jury Prize

Jean-Michel Larqué (FR), Seven-time French football champion, French international and captain of Saint-Étienne

Frank Leboeuf (FR), World champion, ex-Chelsea

Michel Leclerc (FR), César-winning screenwriter (The Names of Others) and director

Pierre Lemaitre (FR), Novelist, 2013 Goncourt Prize

Didier Lockwood (FR), Jazz violinist, former member of Magma

Yorgos Loukos (GR), Artistic director of the Opéra de Lyon

Jan Löwe (NDL), FRS, molecular biologist

Geert Mak (NDL), Historian, essayist

Andrew Mangan (IRE), Football blogger and broadcaster

Gabriele Marcotti (IT), Journalist, author and broadcaster

Karl Marcovics (AUT), Lead actor of Oscar-winning The Counterfeiters

Javier Marías (SP), Novelist

Per Mertesacker (GER), Arsenal FC vice-captain, 2014 World Champion

Gero Miesenböck (AUT), FRS, physiologist

Luděk “Ludo”  Mikloško (CZ), International goalkeeper for Czechoslovakia and Czech Republic, West Ham FC legend

Anna Mouglalis (FR), Actress (Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky)

Nana Mouskouri (GR), Singer

Herta Müller (GER), Writer, winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Literature

Morten Olsen (DEN), UEFA Cup winning footballer, former captain and manager of Danish national team (102 caps)

Joseph O’Neill (IRE), Novelist

Krzysztof Penderecki (POL), Composer

Patricia Petibon (FR), Coloratura soprano singer, three-time winner of the Victoires de la Musique (French Emmys)

Renzo Piano (IT), Architect

Annalisa Piras (IT), Documentary-maker, winner of the 2015 Civis Media Prize

Clémence Poésy (FR), Actress, Harry PotterWar & PeaceThe Tunnel

Adam Price (DEN), TV chef, screenwriter, creator of Borgen

Patrick Pulsinger (AUT), Techno Music Pioneer

Wolfgang Puschnig (AUT), Jazz saxophonist, 1998 Hans Koller Preis winner

Doron Rabinovici (AUT), essayist and historian

Julya Rabinowich (AUT), Writer, painter and playwright

Aurélien Recoing (FR), Actor (Blue is the Warmest Colour), former member of the Comédie-Française, winner of the 2011 Magritte Prize

Eric Reinhardt (FR), novelist and playwright, winner of the Prix Goncourt des Jeunes

Edgar Reitz (GER), Film director (“Heimat”)

Karl-Heinz  Riedle (GER), Ex-Liverpool player, 1990 World Champion

Katja Riemann (GER), Actress

Alexander Rinnooy Kan (NDL), Mathematical economist

Giacomo Rizzolatti (IT) Accademia dei Lincei, physiologist

Hans-Joachim Roedelius (GER), Musician, founder of Cluster and Harmonia, collaborator of Brian Eno

Andreas Roepstorff (DEN), Royal Danish Academy, anthropologist

Isabella Rossellini (IT), Actress

Jérôme Rothen (FR), Twice winner of the French Cup, winner of the Confederations Cup, French football international

Michael Rother (GER), Musician, founder of the band Neu! and former member of Kraftwerk

Stefan Ruzowitzky (AUT), Director (The Counterfeiters, Best Foreign Language Film at 2007 Oscars)

Philippe J. Sansonetti (FR), Foreign Member of the Royal Society, microbiologist

Axel Scheffler (GER), Graphic artist, animator and illustrator

Lone Scherfig (DEN), Director of An Education and The Riot Club

Volker Schlöndorff (GER), Academy Award winning filmmaker

Wolfram Schultz (GER), FRS, neuroscientist

Clemens Setz (AUT),  Novelist (Indigo: A novel)

Vanessa Seward (FR), Fashion designer

Wolf Singer (GER), German Academy of Sciences, neuroscientist

Stellan Skarsgård (SWE), Actor (Pirates of the CaribbeanGood Will HuntingThe River)

Pierre Spengler (FR), Producer of Superman and Superman II and III

Maria Grazia Spillantini (IT), FRS, molecular biologist

Marius Stan (ROM), Senior physicist at the Argonne Laboratory and actor (Breaking Bad)

Thomas C. Südhof (GER), 2013 Nobel Prize for Medicine

Patrick Süskind (GER), Novelist

Małgorzata  Szumowska (POL), Film director, winner of the 2013 Berlin Film Festival Teddy Award for In The Name Of

Gerard ’t Hooft (NDL), 1999 Nobel Prize for Physics

Wolfgang Tillmans (GER), Photographer, Turner Prize winner

Vladimir Tismăneanu (ROM), sociologist and historian

Colm Tóibín  (IRE), Essayist, novelist, playwright, 2011 Irish PEN winner

Veselin Topalov (BUL), Chess grandmaster and former world champion

Jean-Philippe Toussaint (BEL), Novelist, winner of the 2005 Prix Médicis for Fuir

Margarethe Von Trotta (GER), Filmmaker

Frank Uhlmann (GER), FRS, biochemist

Björn Ulvaeus (SWE), Singer, songwriter, producer, founder of ABBA

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FR), Chess grandmaster, former junior world champion

Alex van Warmerdam (NDL), Film director

Mario Vargas Llosa (SP), writer, 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature

Paul  Verhoeven (NDL), director (RobocopBasic Instinct, Total Recall) nine-time Academy Award nominee

Sandro Veronesi (IT), Novelist

Cédric Villani (FR), 2010 Fields Medal, mathematician

Tim Visser (NDL), Winger for Harlequins rugby union club – first professional Dutch player in history. Qualified to play for Scotland (twenty-six caps)

Andrzej Wajda (POL), Director, 1981 Palme d’Or winner and recipient of honorary Academy Award

Arsène Wenger (FR), Arsenal manager

Wendelin Werner (FR/GER), 2006 Fields Medallist, mathematician

Jonathan Zaccaï (BEL), Actor, film director and screenwriter (The Beat That My Heart Skipped), winner of the 2011 Magritte Prize

Krzysztof Zanussi (POL),  Director, winner of the 1980 Cannes Jury Prize