After telling the people of Britain in April that everything might change if Britain left the European Union, President Barack Obama said Friday that the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the EU will not impact the “special relationship” between the United States and Britain.
“The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision,” Obama said in a statement. “The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security and economic policy.”
Friday’s conciliatory words were a far cry from those Obama delivered in April during a visit to Britain he urged voters there to remain in the EU.
“I think it’s fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a U.K.-U.S. 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,” Obama said then.
“The UK is going to be in the back of the queue,” he said.
On Friday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested that Obama’s support of the EU might have contributed to the voters’ decision to leave the EU. Democratic president candidate Hillary Clinton had also supported Britain remaining in the EU.
On Friday, Obama said that the United States will maintain good working relationships with Britain and the EU.
“The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world,” he said. (For more from the author of “Obama Changes His Stance on US-UK Relationship After Brexit Vote” please click HERE)