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Obama vows to maintain special status

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (4th R), British Prime Minister David Cameron (4th L) and U.S. President Barack Obama (File)

Asserting that he would have preferred Britain staying on in the European Union, US President Barack Obama said he respected the decision of Britons and reassured them that their special relationship with the US will remain…reports Asian Lite News

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (4th R), British Prime Minister David Cameron (4th L) and U.S. President Barack Obama (File)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (4th R), British Prime Minister David Cameron (4th L) and U.S. President Barack Obama (File)

“The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision,” the President said in a statement after the UK referendum opted to leave the European Union.

“The special relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in Nato remains a vital cornerstone of US foreign, security and economic policy,” Obama added.

Obama also assured those in the European Union, which has done “so much” to promote stability and economic growth, that the bloc’s relationship with the US will remain unchanged.

Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump praised the British people, saying they “took back control of their country” by voting to leave the European Union. The property tycoon has in recent months been vocal in his support of a Brexit vote.

Gloating Trump

Trump, who is in Scotland to open a golf course, said Britons “took back control of their country” by voting to quit the EU. He had earlier said he would be personally inclined to leave the EU in the run-up to the British referendum.

“People are angry, all over the world, they’re angry,” Trump wrote on his Facebook. “They’re angry over borders, they’re angry over people coming into the country and taking over. Nobody even knows who they are. They’re angry about many, many things.”

Last week, in an interview with the Sunday Times, Trump once again aired his opinion that Britain would be better off outside the EU.

“I would personally be more inclined to leave, for a lot of reasons like having a lot less bureaucracy,” he told the publication. “But I am not a British citizen. This is just my opinion.”

Norway’s Tips

Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, has said that Britons wishing to leave the European Union next week “won’t like” life on the outskirts of the 28-member state bloc.

It will come as a blow to Eurosceptics and Leave campaigners who often cite Norway’s relationship with the EU as the model for Britain to emulate. Norway, which rejected joining the bloc at a referendum in 1994, has access to the majority of the continent’s market and is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement.

In return Norway is obliged to be part of Europe’s passport-free Schengen travel zone. Norwegians also have no say in EU rules and have no representatives in any of the bloc’s institutions despite paying a considerable amount each year for its semi-detached relationship with the EU.