Brexit: Obama tries to quell fears of a global political fall-out from the EU referendum

The US President said the 'Special Relationship' would endure, calling David Cameron 'an outstanding friend and partner'

Tim Walker
US Correspondent
Friday 24 June 2016 19:56 BST
President Barack Obama speaks at Stanford University's Global Entrepreneurship Summit the morning after the UK vote to leave the EU
President Barack Obama speaks at Stanford University's Global Entrepreneurship Summit the morning after the UK vote to leave the EU ((AP))

US President Barack Obama has sought to quell fears about the global fall-out from the EU referendum, telling an audience in California that, despite British voters deciding to leave the EU, “One thing that will not change is the special relationship between our two nations. That will endure.”

Appearing at Silicon Valley’s annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Mr Obama said he had already spoken by phone to David Cameron and to Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor. “Our economic and financial teams will remain in close contact as we stay focused on ensuring economic growth and financial security,” he said.

The President, who had argued for Britain to remain in Europe during a recent visit to the UK, said the EU was an “indispensable partner” to the US, and that the Nato alliance would continue to be “a cornerstone of global security”.

“Yesterday’s vote speaks to the ongoing changes and challenges raised by globalisation,” Mr Obama went on. “Our shared values, including our commitment to democracy, pluralism and opportunity for all people in a globalised world, will continue to unite all of us.”

Praising Mr Cameron, who announced his resignation earlier today, Mr Obama said the Prime Minister had been “an outstanding friend and partner on the global stage.”

Joe Biden, the US Vice President, also responded to the Brexit result during an official trip to Ireland. In a speech at Dublin Castle, he warned that “war, terrorism [and] economic unease” had provided “fertile terrain for reactionary politicians and demagogues peddling xenophobia, nationalism and isolationism.”

In an address aimed at much as Donald Trump as at the British Leave campaign, Mr Biden went on: “We see it in Europe, we see it in other parts of the world, and we see it in my home country, where some politicians find it convenient to scapegoat immigrants instead of welcoming them; to play to our fears rather than, as Abraham Lincoln said, ‘to appeal to our better angels’; divide us based on religion or ethnicity rather than unite us in our common humanity; build walls instead of bridges."

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