President Barack Obama is set to visit London in April to lobby against the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, leaving some British lawmakers furious.
The trip will come approximately one month before British voters go to the polls in June to vote on a referendum that will decide whether or not they will stay in the E.U. The decision, popularly referred to as ‘Brexit,’ will be the first time in 40 years that British voters have had the opportunity to leave the European partnership. Obama’s plan to lobby against the move has some British politicians furious.
“Why should President Obama tell the U.K. whether we should be part of a European superstate or a sovereign nation? He should keep his comments, his views, to himself,” said Peter Bone, a Conservative U.K. member of parliament (MP) and supporter of Brexit.
Conservative MP Steve Baker went a step further, using harsh rhetoric against the President’s intervention.
“Whenever a U.S. president intervenes in our constitutional future, I always reread the U.S. Declaration of Independence. We will solve peacefully at the ballot box the problem for which their nation fought a bloody war of insurrection,” said Baker. “I will take lessons from the U.S. president when the U.S. accepts a supreme court over its own, and free movement from Canada to Central America – but God bless America!”
Obama’s visit to London will coincide with a trip to Germany for a technology summit. Though the White House has not officially announced the trip, a source inside U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s office told the Independent that “Barack Obama is coming over at around that time. You wouldn’t look stupid saying that [the President is going to tell British voters to stay in the EU]. It would be pretty shocking if he didn’t ask voters to stay in the EU.”
It has been widely reported that Obama favors the U.K. remaining in the E.U.
“Having the United Kingdom in the European Union gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union,” said Obama July of last year. “[It] is part of the cornerstone of institutions built after World War Two that has made the world safer and prosperous … We want to make sure that the United Kingdom continues to have that influence.”
British voters are currently split on the Brexit question, with a slight edge in voters favoring to the ‘Remain’ campaign.
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