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Congressmen Savage Obama’s Brexit Intervention

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

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Guy Bentley Research Associate, Reason Foundation
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A host of congressmen are criticizing President Barack Obama’s intervention in the United Kingdom’s debate over whether to leave the European Union.

The U.K. will vote for the first time in more than 40 years Thursday whether to remain or leave the EU. Obama appeared with British Prime Minister David Cameron in April to voice his support for EU membership.

Obama was widely criticised by the British press for saying the U.K. would be at the “back of the queue” for a trade deal in the event of Brexit. Members of parliament supporting the “Leave” campaign voiced their frustration at the president’s intervention. (RELATED: More Than 100 UK Politicians Tell Obama To Keep Out Of Brexit Debate)

Senior American politicians savaged the president Monday for trying to “pressure” the U.K. into voting to stay in the EU. In a letter to the president, 11 Republican congressmen criticized Obama’s remarks about sending the U.K. to the “back of the queue.”

“Regardless of the outcome of the referendum, citizens of the United Kingdom should know that we will continue to regard our relationship with the United Kingdom as a central factor in the foreign, security, and trading policies of the United States,” the letter said.

“The United States, as a nation founded on the sovereign and democratic voice of the American people, must respect the sovereignty of other democratic peoples, and their inalienable right to determine their own destiny. Any interference in their decision can only harm our relationship.”

Signatories to the letter include Rep. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the Committee on Armed Services, and Rep. Devin Nunes.

The polls are still close to call, but betting markets are drifting heavily towards a remain vote. Betting company Ladbrokes puts the chances of remain at 76 percent, compared with 24 percent for leave.

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