President Obama touched down at London Stansted Airport in Airforce One on Thursday night and he wants to try and convince British voters to remain inside the EU.
Writing in the Telegraph on Friday, Obama alluded to the rise of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as he made his plea for the UK to vote Remain. “I understand that there’s a spirited campaign under way here. My country is going through much the same,” the president wrote.
This is Obama’s fifth visit to the UK. He will hold talks with Prime Minister David Cameron and have lunch with the Queen at Windsor Castle. “I do want to wish Her Majesty a happy birthday in person.” Obama said.
Obama starts his article in the Telegraph by referencing the “special relationship” between the UK and the US that Obama says was “forged as we spilt blood together on the battlefield.” He says that because of this the EU referendum will affect the US as well as the UK. Here’s what the president wrote, the added emphasis is ours.
The tens of thousands of Americans who rest in Europe’s cemeteries are a silent testament to just how intertwined our prosperity and security truly are. And the path you choose now will echo in the prospects of today’s generation of Americans as well.
Obama’s argument is that the EU doesn’t moderate Britain’s influence in the world, but rather that it “magnifies” it. From nuclear weapons in Iran to the Paris climate agreement, Obama says that Britain has a major impact on the world stage because of its place in the EU.
When we negotiated the historic deal to verifiably prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, it was collective action, working together with the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, that got the job done. And the EU’s seat at the table magnified the United Kingdom’s voice.
When the climate agreement in Paris needed a push, it was the European Union, fortified by the United Kingdom, that ultimately helped make that agreement possible.
Obama also warned that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will be far less effective if the UK is not a part of it
And the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the EU will advance our values and our interests, and establish the high-standard, pro-worker rules for trade and commerce in the 21st century economy.
This kind of cooperation — from intelligence sharing and counterterrorism to forging agreements to create jobs and economic growth — will be far more effective if it extends across Europe.
Pro-Brexit campaigners are not happy with Obama’s intervention. Writing in the Sun newspaper, Mayor of London Boris Johnson says that it is hypocritical for Obama to ask Britain to give away so much power to the EU when the US won’t even sign up to the UN convention on the rights of the child. Here’s what Johnson said, the added emphasis is ours.
America is the only country in the world that has so far failed to sign up to the UN convention on the rights of the child, or the UN convention on the emancipation of women.
For the United States to tell us in the UK that we must surrender control of so much of our democracy — it is a breathtaking example of the principle of do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do.
The EU referendum will be held on June 23. The latest polls show the Remain campaign pulling away into the lead.