Obama pleads for unity in Europe

The US President intervened in the EU referendum debate pleading the UK to remain in the European Union. His intervention made him be defined by the Mayor of London as a hypocrite part-Kenyan.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (R) and US President Barack Obama (L) attend a press conference at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in central London

David Cameron and Barack Obama  attend a press conference on 22nd April. REUTERS/Andy Rain/Pool

During the 22nd April joint press conference with Barack Obama, David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, distanced himself from Johnson’s statement. In particular, Cameron did not share what the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, wrote, on the Sun, about Obama. In the article concerned, Johnson stated that Obama’s plea to Britain was incoherent, inconsistent and completely hypocritical and that such a decision only regarded UK citizens. From his side Cameron underlined the long-lasting friendship and mutual respect that exist between the UK and the US adding that even though the decision about leaving or not the EU is in the hands of the British people they should take into account the opinion of their friends.

In the article published on the Telegraph, Barack Obama stressed how important is that Britain remains in the EU because, only together, the UK and the EU can tackle the economic crisis and prevent terrorist attacks. He also affirmed that the Britain’s membership in the EU has magnified it not only within the European Union itself but also at the international level enabling the UK to increase its influence abroad since a strong Europe accentuates United Kingdom’s global leadership. In his words “the UK’s powerful voice in the European Union ensures that Europe takes a strong stance in the world and keeps the EU open, outward looking, and closely linked to its allies on the other side of the Atlantic. So the U.S. and the world need your outsized influence to continue – including within Europe”.

In the joint press conference, which took place in London, the US President reaffirmed what he had written in the Telegraph asking, again, the UK citizens to vote to remain in the European Union. He also declared that the alliance between the US and the UK is one of the oldest and strongest in the world and that only together they make “the world safer and better”.

Obama continued his discourse saying that if it is true that the future of the United Kingdom within the European Union is in hands of the British voters alone, it is not possible to deny that this decision will affect not only the UK but also the United States. In fact, the US want a strong partner and the UK “is at its best when it’s helping to lead a strong Europe”. From its side, the EU has helped the UK not only “to spread British values and practices across the continent”, but also, it has improved British economy thanks to the single market created among all the countries members of the EU. To support his words, Obama added that “this ends up being good for America because we’re more prosperous when one of our best friends and closest allies has a strong, stable, growing economy”.


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