ONE of Germany’s leading politicians has made an impassioned plea to his fellow Scots not to leave the European Union in the forthcoming in-out referendum.

MEP David McAllister, whose father was from the Gorbals, and who was tipped to succeed Angela Merkel as leader of Germany’s ruling party, said the UK had transformed Europe, not least by helping to defeat the Nazis, and warned Brexit would be a huge loss to the EU.

The former Prime Minister of Lower Saxony and a close friend of SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson, McAllister said: “We don’t want to miss you people. Please don’t go.”

McAllister, who was born to a German mother in Berlin but who grew up reading the Broons and listening to Scottish football scores on the radio thanks to his army father, set out the case for an In vote in a briefing for the Scottish press in his European Parliament office in Brussels.

He acknowledged the UK, with its various opt-outs and outright rejection of the euro, had “always been a bit different” among the EU’s 28 members.

“On the other hand, we don’t want to miss you people,” he said.

“Without the British initiative in the 1980s, we wouldn’t have had the single market. Britain is the driving force when it comes to free trade.

“Your arms forces, together with the French, are the strongest in Europe. When it comes to foreign affairs and security, we know how important Britain is with its good military forces.

“Britain is an important bridge to the US and Canada. Britain has much better contacts with Australia and New Zealand. There are so many good reasons. Please don’t leave.”

He said it would be wrong for EU politicians to lecture UK voters on what to decide before David Cameron’s hold the referendum by the end of 2017, and probably next year.

“But as long as British people are willing to listen, here’s a German politician with a British background trying to explain why it’s good not only for the United Kingdom but also for the European Union that you’re a member,” he said.

“If we want Britain to stay, we have to send out the message we want you to stay. Whenever there is UK-bashing in a German public debate, I’m usually the first one to stand up.

“We Germans have so much to thank the British for. If it wasn’t for Britain in 1940-41, who knows what could have happened to Europe and the rest of the world? That we Germans were liberated from national socialism is also a British success.

“As Germans, we should never ever forget what the UK did for us.

“That’s why I get really annoyed when I hear some of the anti-British undertones in the German debate. We have no right to tell the British politicians what it means to be true Europeans because it was Britain who defended European values and interests in the darkest hour of our history.”

McAllister, 44, who holds both British and German passports, was elected PM of Lower Saxony in 2010, and tipped to replace Merkel as leader of the Christian Democratic Union.

However after an election defeat in 2013, the former lawyer was elected the following year as an MEP at the top of the CDU's list of candidates in Lower Saxony.[5]

Scottish Ukip MEP David Coburn said: “We want to be friends with Germany, we want to trade with Germany. Ukip are not against Europe, we’re against the European Union. We don’t want to be dominated by an undemocratic, socialist EU that tells people what to do.”