from Bill Still
Come on out, Britain. The water’s fine and America will not forsake you. That’s what I say. But that’s not what President Obama says.
Last night, the U.S. President warned that if the UK left the EU – the Brexit – that it would go to “the back of the queue” for a trade deal with the United States.
Obama dropped by Britain on the way back from his latest visit to Saudi Arabia. He made his comments at a joint press conference with David Cameron last night.
Tory Justice Minister Dominic Raab called Obama’s pronouncement:
“… a pretty cynical intervention. We’ve got a lame duck president doing an old friend a favour for purely political reasons – and taking a few unnecessary risks, being a bit irresponsible with the special relationship between our two countries.”
“You can’t say on the one hand that the relationship is essential and always will be, then say that if you don’t take my advice you’ll be at the back of the queue for a free trade deal. I don’t think the British people will be blackmailed by anyone but he’s entitled to give his view.”
What the President was threatening was that Britain would be excluded fro the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal between the EU and the US.
According to Richard Tice, co-founder of the Leave.EU campaign:
“The proposed TTIP deal would be disastrous for British workers. Obama doesn’t have the authority to deny us a deal, as he will be long gone before any such proposals are on the table.”
The leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage agreed:
“It’s us against the entire political establishment. The more they club together, the better our chances are of winning.”
Even Prime Minister … Cameron stressed that he thought the Brexit referendum was “the sovereign choice of the British people”, but said that it made sense “to listen to what our friends think.”
The Brexit vote comes up in exactly 2 months from now, June 23.
I’m still reporting from Washington. Good Day.