President Obama stuck his face into Brexit campaign again today. Specifically, Obama warned a trade deal queue with the UK could last 10 years.
Please consider Mean 10-Year Wait for U.K. Trade Deal.
President Barack Obama leaned in further on his warning to the British electorate against embracing a so-called Brexit from the European Union, saying it could take as long as 10 years before the U.K. and the U.S negotiated a new trade agreement.
‘The U.K. would not be able to negotiate something with the United States faster than the EU,” Obama told the BBC in an interview published on Saturday. “We wouldn’t abandon our efforts to negotiate a trade deal with our largest trading partner, the European market. But rather, it could be could be five years from now, 10 years now before we were actually able get something done.”
The president’s remarks were the most detailed he’s made yet in addressing the argument that a Brexit would hurt the British economy by delaying its ability to ink a trade deal with the U.S. Obama, who said Friday that Britons would be at the “back of the queue” in negotiating a trade agreement with the U.S. separately from the EU, indicated that the queue may last a decade.
The comments extended the rare intervention of a U.S. president into another nation’s domestic politics. On Friday, Obama stood beside Prime Minister David Cameron to admonish the British electorate about the perils of embracing an isolationist stance.
Brexit backer and London Mayor Boris Johnson wrote in The Sun newspaper that Obama’s intervention was “downright hypocritical.” He suggested the “part-Kenyan” president might dislike Britain’s imperial legacy — a comment that drew widespread criticism.
“The Americans would never contemplate anything like the EU for themselves or for their neighbors, in their own hemisphere,” Johnson wrote. “Why should they think it right for us?”
Ipsos Mori polling data show the British public split over whether Obama should express his opinion on the June 23 referendum, with 49 percent saying he should and 46 percent saying he shouldn’t. Separately, the bookmaker Ladbrokes Plc on Friday said that 90 percent of all bets taken in the past two days have been for “Remain.” The prospects of a “Leave” vote fell to 29 percent from 34 percent, it said. The Bloomberg Brexit Tracker puts the probability of vote to quit the EU at about 20 percent.
There was no need to for London Mayor Boris Johnson to bring “part-Kenyan” into the debate. Being Kenyan has nothing to do with the issue at hand.
However, Johnson’s comment “The Americans would never contemplate anything like the EU for themselves or for their neighbors, in their own hemisphere,” is precisely correct.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock