that night, he also remarked that we are friends who have no fear of each other. So I will say, with the candour of a friend, that the outcome of the decision is a matter of deep interest to the United States. The tens of thousands of Americans who rest in Europe’s cemeteries are a silent testament to just how intertwined our prosperity and security truly are. And the path they choose now will echo in the prospects of today’s generation of Americans as well. As citizens of the United Kingdom take stock of their relationship with the EU, they should be proud that the EU has helped spread British values and practices—democracy, the rule of law, open markets—across the continent and to its periphery. The European Union doesn’t moderate British influence—it magnifies it. A strong Europe is not a threat to Britain’s global leadership; it enhances Britain’s global leadership. The United States sees how [Britain’s] powerful voice in Europe ensures that Europe takes a strong stance in the world and keeps the EU open, outward-looking and closely linked to its allies on the other side of the Atlantic. So the US and the world need its outsized influence to continue, including within Europe. In this complicated, connected world, the challenges facing the EU—migration, economic inequality, the threats of terrorism and climate change—are the same challenges facing the United States and other nations. And in today’s world, even as we all cherish our sovereignty, the nations who wield their influence most effectively are the nations that do it through the collective
action that today’s challenges demand. When we negotiated the historic deal to verifiably prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, it was collective action, working together with the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, that got the job done. And the EU’s seat at the table magnified the United Kingdom’s voice. When the climate agreement in Paris needed a push, it was the European Union, fortified by the United Kingdom, that ultimately helped make that agreement possible. When it comes to creating jobs, trade and economic growth in line with our values, the UK has benefited from its membership in the EU—inside a single market that provides enormous opportunities for the British people. And the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the EU will advance our values and our interests and establish the high-standard, pro-worker rules for trade and commerce in the 21st century economy. This kind of cooperation—from intelligence-sharing and counter-terrorism to forging agreements to create jobs and economic growth—will be far more effective if it extends across Europe. Now is a time for friends and allies to stick together. Together the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union have turned centuries of war in Europe into decades of peace and worked as one to make this world a safer, better place. What a remarkable legacy that is. And what a remarkable legacy we will leave when, together, we meet the challenges of this young century as well.
On his way out: Obama boards Air Force One following his last official visit to the UK 2016 MAY / JUNE
Published on May 1, 2016
Barack Obama graces the cover of the May/June issue of Global Citizen magazine. A niche business and luxury lifestyle title for high net wor...