Bundesbank supremo Jens Weidmann has urged Britain not to quit the European Union, even quoting The Beatles to sell the mutual economic benefits of the country retaining its membership.
The German central bank president said that being in the bloc boosts Britain's GDP by 10.5% and its trade with other EU nations has increased by more than half as a direct result of being in a member.
Speaking at the German-British Chamber of Industry & Commerce in London yesterday, Weidmann, said: 'As much as the UK gains from being part of the EU, so the EU gains from having the UK as a member. The EU is stronger today because of Britain's contribution to it.'
In a rare foray into political debate, Weidmann said that going forward, continuing to improve the EU 'does not require centralisation', as he referenced Margaret Thatcher's euro-scepticism and Winston Churchill's desire to see closer European ties.
He then quoted the Beatles, saying: 'To those who think Europe would be better off giving in to the temptation of insularity, let me say it in the words of The Beatles: "You say goodbye, and I say hello".'
Weidmann's speech follows a period of testy relations between Britain and the EU with prime minister David Cameron's failed attempt to block the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker for the presidency of the European Commission the latest example.
Cameron has vowed to hold an in-out referendum on EU membership in 2017 if the Conservatives win the next election.