London Mayor and Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Boris Johnson warned President Barack Obama recently that Washington, D.C. should not interfere in Britain’s European Union referendum.
The British people will decide for the first time in 40 years Jun. 23 whether their country will stay in the EU or whether it will leave and forge a new path outside the Brussels institutions. (What is Brexit? Everything You Need To Know About Britain’s EU Referendum)
Obama, who is visiting the UK in April before heading to Germany for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, is reportedly going to make the case for Britain remaining in the EU. Obama is popular in the UK and his endorsement could give a boost to the Remain campaign, which has slipped behind in opinion polls.
Johnson, who is seen as the next leader of the Conservative Party and the next prime ministership, used his Daily Telegraph column to level several criticisms of a U.S. intervention in the Brexit debate.
“We will be informed by our most important ally that it is in our interests to stay in the EU, no matter how flawed we may feel that organisation to be. Never mind the loss of sovereignty; never mind the expense and the bureaucracy and the uncontrolled immigration,” Johnson wrote Monday.
“The American view is very clear. Whether in code or en clair, the President will tell us all that UK membership of the EU is right for Britain, right for Europe, and right for America. And why? Because that – or so we will be told – is the only way we can have ‘influence’ in the counsels of the nations.
“It is an important argument and deserves to be taken seriously. I also think it is wholly fallacious – and coming from Uncle Sam, it is a piece of outrageous and exorbitant hypocrisy.”
Johnson argued America defends its national sovereignty with “hysterical vigilance” and would never accept the type of arrangement the UK is engaged in with the EU.
British MPs were similarly outraged by the prospect of Obama’s interference in the UK’s referendum debate. “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 Steve Baker MP, leader of Conservatives for Britain. (RELATED: Obama’s Plan To Visit London To Lobby Against Brexit Infuriates British Lawmakers)
“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!”
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