Obama calls on Britain to stay in E.U.

Apr 22, 2016, 5:52 AM EDT
The U.S. President Barack Obama
(Source: Marc Nozell/flickr)

U.S. President Barack Obama urged the U.K. not to leave the European Union, nothing that the country’s ability to tackle issues of terrorism, migration and economic slowdown would be amplified if it stays in the bloc. Obama’s statement, published in the Daily Telegraph, drew strong criticism from pro-Brexit campaigners, who described it as a clear example of hypocrisy.

Obama, acknowleding that the upcoming E.U. referendum is an internal matter to be decided by U.K. voters themselves, cited the “intertwined prosperity and security” of the two nations and opined that America’s interest would be deeply impacted by the outcome of the voting, writes the BBC. Obama, who is on a three-day visit to the U.K., said the country would be a beneficiary in terms of jobs, trade and financial growth if it “sticks together with its European allies.”

Obama’s statement is a big boost for the U.K.’s Prime Minister David Cameron, who is leading the campaign to stay in the E.U., writes Reuters. Americans are apprehensive that a Brexit may not only compromise Western security but also lead to a turbulent market, denting London’s status as a global financial hub.

Boris Johnson, the London mayor who leads the pro-Brexit campaign, slammed Obama, saying that the latter would never let a body like the European Union “dilute his country’s sovereign interest.”