President Barack Obama used his final visit to the UK to show strong support for Britain’s continued membership of the EU. The relationship between the US and the UK is one of the most vital for international security and economic development and the views of the President should be taken seriously. President Obama’s intervention makes it clear that the vote on 23rd June will have consequences far beyond the UK.
Obama highlighted the great influence that the UK has had on the development of the EU, from the forming the single market to spreading British liberal values across the continent and beyond. Bexley Liberal Democrats believe that an EU without Britain at its heart will be a weakened voice on the world stage and it is unclear whether recent successes such as climate change talks in Paris and negotiations with Iran would have been successful without a strong British presence as part of the EU.
It is telling that leave camp, instead of attempting to counteract with facts and reason, have engaged in a personal attack, both commenting on President Obama’s part Kenyan background as evidence that he in some way hates the UK. These divisive comments, put forward most prominently by Nigel Farage, Leader of UKIP and the Conservative London Mayor, Boris Johnson show a growing desperation, and go against the British values of tolerance, openness and internationalism which Liberal Democrats hold dear.