Ted Cruz: Obama’s UK Visit Will Raise Chances Of Brexit

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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President Barack Obama’s intention to support the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union will most likely increase support for a British exit (Brexit), according to Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore].

“President Obama, if anything, his campaigning against [Britain leaving] will make it more likely that England will pull out of the EU,” Cruz told reporters Sunday.

Obama is preparing to travel to the UK in April before heading to Germany for meetings with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Cruz declined to say whether he believed Brexit would be a positive or negative outcome of the UK’s referendum, but criticized the president for abandoning America’s traditional allies and being weak on foreign policy.

He said if elected to the White House, Cruz would return a bust of Winston Churchill to the Oval Office. The bust had been in the office during the presidency of George W. Bush but Obama refused to retain it.

Obama and the Department of State are keen to keep Britain in the EU as a voice for trade liberalization and a force for maintaining an internationalist, pro-American outlook.

But foreign policy analysts are divided on the subject, with scholars from the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation arguing Britain would be able to negotiate a better trade deal with the U.S. outside of the EU. (RELATED: How Brexit Would Impact The US: What The Experts Say)

The British people will decide for the first time in 40 years on Jun. 23 whether to remain in the EU, after the Conservative Party promised the electorate a vote on Britain’s EU membership if they won the 2015 general election.

Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron triumphed in May 2015, winning a majority of the members of parliament and was asked for the second time by the queen to form a government.

Cameron spent the months after the general election touring the capitals of Europe trying to win concessions from European leaders so he could recommend to the British people the country stay in the reformed EU.

The Conservative Party has been divided on Britain’s EU membership for more than 30 years — many want Britain to withdraw, take back control of the country’s borders and roll back EU regulations.

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