Obama Calls on British People Not to Leave EU
Opinion polls indicate that British voters are leaning towards the “In” camp
London: US President Barack Obama made an i mpassioned appea l on Friday for Britain to remain in the European Union, saying membership had magnified Britain’s place in the world and made the bloc stronger and more outward looking.
Fearful that a British exit could weaken the West, Obama arrived in London to applaud Britain’s EU membership which he said had helped make the world freer, richer and better able to tackle everything from Russian aggression to terrorism.
Praising Britain’s “outsized” inf luence in the world, Obama invoked the interlinked history of the two countries and the tens of thousands of Americans lying in European war graves as his reason for speaking as “a friend” on the June 23 referendum. “The European Union doesn’t moderate British i n f luence — it magnifies it,” he wrote in an article placed on page 20 of the eurosceptic Daily Telegraph under the headline “As your friend, I tell you that the EU makes Britain even greater.” “The United States sees how your powerful voice in Europe 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”. Ca mpaig ner s for Brit a i n’s EU membership, including Cameron, who is leading the “In” campaign, will welcome Obama’s intervention, which led news broadcasts on British television. But the president’s comments drew scorn from opponents of Britain’s EU membership. New York-bor n L ondon mayor Boris Johnson, who heads the “Out” campaign, said that he did not want to be lectured by Americans about EU membership and that the United States would never countenance such a transfer of sovereignty. “For the United States to tell us in the UK that we must surrender control of so much of our democracy — it is a breathtaking example of the principle of do-as-Isay-but-not-as-I-do,” Johnson wrote in the Sun newspaper.
“It is incoherent. It is inconsistent, and yes it is downright hypocritical,” Johnson said.
Opinion polls indicate that British voters are leaning towards the “In” camp but many remain undecided. “In” campaigners are concerned that young voters may not turn out to vote.