U.S. President Barack Obama waded into Britain’s referendum on membership of the European Union. It’s currently the most incendiary topic in British politics.
He urged an audience of young U.K. adults to reject ‘isolationism and cynicism.’ Richard Bestic reports it was seen as an indirect, but obvious attempt, to influence the outcome of Britain’s upcoming referendum.
Obama urges UK youth to reject isolationism and cynicismU.S. President Barack Obama waded into Britain's referendum on membership of the European Union. It's currently the most incendiary topic in British politics. He urged an audience of young U.K. adults to reject 'isolationism and cynicism.' Richard Bestic reports it was seen as an indirect, but obvious attempt, to influence the outcome of Britain's upcoming referendum.
Driving home his point for the second day running on this diplomatically unusual Presidential tour Barack Obama paired up with British Prime Minister David Cameron to make forthright calls to the U.K. electorate.
They urged Britons to vote ‘yes’ to continued membership in the European Union.
And as opinion polls suggest, British young people are far more pro-Europe than the U.K.’s older generations, so he’s targeting them directly.
Without mentioning the EU by name, Obama urged them to reject isolationism.
“Your capacity to shape this world is unmatched, what an incredible privilege that is. And you’ve never had better tools to make a difference, to forge a better U.K., a better Europe and a better world. So my primary message today is going to be to reject pessimism and cynicism, know that progress is possible and problems can be solved,” Obama said.
Whether a ‘Yes’ vote is ‘to be or not to be’ will be determined at the ballot box two months from now. The U.S. president also marked the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death by visiting at the Globe Theatre for around 10 minutes of Hamlet-the theatrical and diplomatic equivalent, perhaps, of speed dating.
However, there’s little love lost among those campaigning for Britain to quit the European Union and its half a billion strong marketplace. Some complain the President’s intervention in domestic U.K. vote is “bullying.”