"Hug a Brit"

London (dpa) - A group of mostly German and Austrian expats living in Britain has launched a "hug a Brit" campaign to encourage British people to vote to remain in the European Union in a referendum in June.

"We love you. You are part of Europe. Please don't leave us," the group said on its website, where it has posted many photographs of British people getting a persuasive hug from EU expats.

"We noticed that the Brexit debate mostly seemed to revolve around the issues of fishing, migration and exports," Christine Ullmann, one of the founders, told dpa. "We wanted to bring the focus back on the people."

Ullmann, who has lived in London for the last seven years and is married to a Englishman, posted a photo of herself arm-in-arm with Jarvis Cocker, famed former frontman of the British rock group Pulp.

Under the hashtags #hugabrit and #pleasedontgouk, EU citizens living in Britain are encouraged to share pictures of themselves posing with their British friends on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media.