President Obama just jumped headlong into UK politics
President Obama openly threatened that Britain would be put to the “back of the queue” for trade deals with the United States if it left the EU. In a dramatic intervention which has outraged many in the UK. he jumped right into the Brexit debate.
Obama explained, “I think it’s fair to say that maybe at some point down the line there might be a UK-US trade agreement but it’s not going to happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc, the European Union, to get a trade agreement done. And the UK is going to be in the back of the queue.”
“Part of being friends is being honest,” he said
“My understanding is that some of the folks on the other side have been ascribing to the United States certain actions we will take if the UK does leave the EU — they say, for example, that ‘we will just cut our own trade deals with the United States’.
“So they are voicing an opinion about what the United States is going to do. I figured you might want to hear from the president of the United States what I think the United States is going to do. And on that matter, for example, I think it’s fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a UK-US trade agreement, but it’s not going to happen any time soon because our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc, the European Union, to get a trade agreement done.
“The UK is going to be in the back of the queue,” he threatened
Many have questioned his use of the word “queue” rather than the more common US usage, “line”, which has fueled speculation that the intervention had been jointed scripted by David Cameron’s team. Cameron himself, is against Britain’s exit from the EU.
Obama had been quoted as saying that the special relationship between the US and the UK
‘was forged as we spilled blood together on the battlefield’ of World War II.
Former UK Conservative Chancellor, Norman Lamont responded in the Daily Mail,
Just in case we did not get the point, he added that Britain was ‘a friend and ally to the United States like no other’.
Really? Forgive my cynicism, but President Obama and his officials have used the phrase ‘special relationship’ or similar ones extensively with regard to several countries.
They include Israel, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Canada and Ireland. John Kerry, his Secretary of State, has referred to France as the U.S.’s oldest ally.
Special appears not to be very special at all — a point made clear in Obama’s threat at his Downing Street press conference yesterday that, if we leave the EU, we’ll be ‘at the back of the queue’ where any trade deal is concerned.
The point is that every country wants to be told it has a ‘special relationship’ with the United States, and Obama knows it. He also knows how to use it to get what he wants.
Many are now questioning the hypocrisy of Obama’s intervention. He seems to have forgotten that America is a nation founded to proclaim independence from overseas control. America would never submit to other countries making its laws. Not in a million years would the United States join an organization like the European Union; which would effectively put the Supreme Court in Washington under the control of foreign judges?
London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, reacts to Obama’s intervention,
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H/T Daily Mail, The Times