The Loch Ness Monster has not featured prominently in Britain’s debate on its place in Europe, but according to one German newspaper Nessie is one of the main reasons the UK should stay in the EU.
“Dear Brits, please stay after all, you’re so beautifully crazy,” said the tabloid Bild, arguing that eccentric characters such as Prince Philip, Boris Johnson and Sacha Baron Cohen have a lot to offer the Continent.
The article was a rare light note in an otherwise predictably serious Teutonic criticism of David Cameron’s UK referendum speech.
On a more thoughtful note the paper applauded the Prime Minister, saying he had bucked a trend that had seen most EU governments agreeing to build Europe without input from their citizens. “It is as if the European project is too important for democracy to have a say,” it added.
But Der Spiegel labelled Mr Cameron a “scaredy cat”, claiming that worries about losing power and influence to Tory right-wingers and Ukip had driven him to make a provocative speech out of fear.
Other commentators from the magazine said it was high time that the rest of Europe stopped trying to keep Britain in the EU. “Travellers on a journey should not be waylaid,” wrote columnist Wolfgang Münchau.
The left-of-centre Südeutsche Zeitung wrote it would be wrong to dismiss outright Mr Cameron’s rejection of a bigger Europe, however.