In the wake of the Brexit vote, there has been a lot of uncertainty about the UK’s place in Europe. There has also been confusion about the United States’ relationship to the UK and Europe and about what the victory means for the upcoming election. Tuesday, President Obama gave an interview with NPR where he clarified his view on the wider implications of Brexit.
Despite the concerns over Brexit, President Obama believes that these fears have been overstated. He emphasized that the UK is still a close ally of the U.S. and that other nations, such as Norway, work closely with the E.U without being a part of it.
‘And so I don’t anticipate that there’s going to be major, cataclysmic changes as a consequence of this. Keep in mind that Norway is not a member of the European Union, but Norway is one of our closest allies. They align themselves on almost every issue within Europe and us. They are a place that is continually supporting the kinds of initiatives internationally that we support. And if, over the course of what is going to be at least a two-year negotiation between England and Europe, Great Britain ends up being affiliated to Europe like Norway is, the average person is not going to notice a big change.’
Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has recently claimed that Brexit was a vindication of his views and that the U.S. would be the next to “take their country back.” Obama rightfully pointed out the absurdity of a billionaire like Trump suddenly proclaiming himself a champion of the working class.
‘Mr. Trump embodies global elites and has taken full advantage of it his entire life. So, he’s hardly a spokesperson — a legitimate spokesperson — for a populist surge of working-class people on either side of the Atlantic. I think that some of the concerns around immigration, some of the concerns around a loss of control, or a loss of national identity, those are similar. I think there is a xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment that’s flashing up, not just in Great Britain but throughout Europe, that has some parallels with what Mr. Trump has been trying to stir up here.
Having said all that, the U.S. economy has not only recovered, we’re about ten percent larger than we were, pre-crisis.’
You can check out the video of NPR’s interview with President Obama here:
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