Thursday, April 21, 2016


Why Obama thinks Britain should stay in the European Union

Obama Pens Op-Ed Calling on Britain to Stay in European Union.

President Barack Obama on Thursday called on Britain to stay in the European Union, saying in a British newspaper article: "Now is a time for friends and allies to stick together."

British voters are scheduled to decide in a referendum June 23 whether to leave or remain in the European Union, a vote that has divided the country (PDF) and its political establishment.

In an op-ed published in The Daily Telegraph as he arrived in London for what's expected to be his last British visit as president, Obama acknowledged that "the question of whether or not the U.K. remains a part of the EU is a matter for British voters to decide for yourselves."

But he said the outcome of the vote "is a matter of deep interest to the United States."

"The tens of thousands of Americans who rest in Europe's cemeteries are a silent testament to just how intertwined our prosperity and security truly are," Obama wrote.

European coordination on intelligence sharing, counterterrorism and economic growth "will be far more effective" if Britain stays in the EU, he wrote, adding: "The European Union doesn't moderate British influence — it magnifies it. A strong Europe is not a threat to Britain's global leadership; it enhances Britain's global leadership."

Obama's highly public statement on an internal British political question infuriated supporters of Britain's exit from the EU.

Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith told The Daily Express on Thursday that he could "imagine no circumstances" under which Obama would accept foreign court control or taxes over the United States.

"What I do find strange is that he is asking the British people to accept a situation that he patently would not recommend to the American population," said Duncan Smith, who remains an influential member of Parliament.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, another anti-EU Conservative member of Parliament, said, "I can't think the British people will want to be told what to do by a rather unsuccessful American president who has had one of the least successful foreign policies in modern history," Bloomberg reported.

And London Mayor Boris Johnson told The Associated Press: "I just think it's paradoxical that the United States, which wouldn't dream of allowing the slightest infringement of its own sovereignty, should be lecturing other countries about the need to enmesh themselves ever deeper in a federal super-state."

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