Yesterday the people of Britain cast their votes and the people spoke. The nation is no longer a part of the European Union, much to David Cameron and Obama’s chagrin. Now Trump is laughing in their faces.
President Barack Obama attempted to calm choppy global waters on Friday brought on by Britain’s spectacular decision to leave the European Union by promising that the United Kingdom’s relationship with the United States would remain the same.
The president said in a statement that both the UK and the EU would continue to be ‘indispensable partners’ and touted the former’s involvement in NATO as an example of Western stability in face of tumbling worldwide markets.
‘The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision,’ he said in a statement.
The president, on the West Coast for a summit and fundraising events, had not spoken to Prime Minister David Cameron yet, the White House indicated early Friday morning, but he will ‘over the course of the next day.’
The White House at that time said the president would be updated ‘as the situation warrants.’ It offered no formal declaration of policy this morning as the pound plunged and the stock market crashed abroad.
Obama had publicly aligned himself with Cameron in the fight to keep the EU intact, an unusual intervention in another country’s politics at the invitation of its leader of the moment.
The referendum result was as much a smack down of the U.S. president as it was the British prime minister, who said this morning that he would resign in October.
Obama was not at the White House on Friday morning as the Brexit totals came tumbling in.
Officially in California for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, with two Democratic fundraising events lined up later in the day, the U.S. president’s first order of business was to be a speech and discussion with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
That event is scheduled for 1:45pm Eastern, and the White House had not, as of this morning, signaled that Obama would otherwise deliver remarks or give a televised Brexit statement.
It did not send out an official statement from the president until after 9am.
In the statement the president asserted, ‘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.
‘So too is our relationship with the European Union, which has done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond.’
The chief executive of the United States promised that both parties ‘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.’
Britain voted 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent to leave the EU on Thursday, shocking the world and electrocuting the financial markets.
Vice President Joe Biden was in Ireland on Friday, receiving an honorary doctorate from Trinity College Dublin.
‘I must say we had looked for a different outcome. We would have preferred a different outcome,’ he said in his speech, ‘but the United States has a long-standing friendship with the United Kingdom and that very special bond will endure.’
Biden added, ‘We fully respect the decision they have made.’
Obama warned at at a joint news conference with Cameron in April that the UK would be sent to ‘the back of the queue’ if it voted to leave the 28-nation arrangement and go its own way.