Today Barack Obama joined the very long list of world leaders and international experts who say the UK, Europe and the
world are better and safer with Britain inside the European Union. Mr Obama said that being in the EU makes Britain “even Greater” and “magnifies British strength”.
Derek Vaughan, Labour MEP for Wales said;
"When Barack Obama talks about the EU making Britain more influential and a great asset in tackling multinational challenges, including terrorism, he is speaking with almost eight years’ experience of being President of the most powerful nation in the world. I absolutely welcome his comments, if anyone knows about power and influence in the modern world, it’s him. No one in the Out Campaign has been at that top table. At least not for two decades.”
Mr Vaughan also said that our close friendship made Obama’s point important; “Americans fought and died for peace in Europe in the two World Wars and are one of our closest allies. Obama is showing the value of that friendship by being honest about his view that we can’t afford to presume that peace and prosperity will take care of themselves. Most crucially, he was speaking with “the candour of a friend”.
"The OUT Campaign has tried to argue that being in the EU somehow impedes our relationship with the US. Obama has made it clear this is utter nonsense. Looking at the trade figures for February we exported £3.7 billion to the US, and this was helped through EU-US co-operation such as the Transatlantic Economic Council and the Open Skies agreement between the EU and the US, we don’t need to leave the EU to trade excellently with the US, we already are doing so. The OUT campaign are trying to sell us something we already have. Obama’s intervention along with our ongoing military and intelligence co-operation shows that not only can we have both EU membership and this special relationship but that at the moment that’s exactly what we do have. Diplomatically and economically it’s the best of both worlds.”
“You just need to look at the people who’ve said we’re better off IN, General Petraeus, one of the key US Generals in Afghanistan said that leaving 'would only make our world even more dangerous and difficult to manage'.” Our European allies, the Prime Minister of New Zealand and the G8 have all made it clear that they think the UK leaving the EU would be bad for our economy, and by extension bad for their economies. As long ago as 2013 the Japanese Government made clear that the UK leaving the EU would make it less attractive for Japanese investment. In comparison to that you could fit the world leaders in favour of leaving in a Mini, and none of them are our friends. This disparity and the OUT campaign's shrill reaction to Obama’s comments, shows that the OUT Campaign are out of their depth and playing Russian roulette with our future.”