US President Barack Obama flies to London on Thursday with a mission: to persuade wavering British voters not to ditch membership of the European Union in a June 23 referendum that Washington fears could weaken the West.
His visit is a welcome one for Prime Minister David Cameron, leading the “In” campaign, but has drawn scorn from those arguing Britain should leave the EU.
Obama is likely to suggest Britons should vote to stay in the bloc to preserve Britain’s wealth, its “special relationship” with the United States and the cohesion of the West.
“As the president has said, we support a strong United Kingdom in the European Union,” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, told reporters in Washington ahead of the trip.
After a visit to Saudi Arabia, including talks with King Salman, Obama flies to London on Thursday evening.
The U.S. government – and many U.S. banks and companies – fear a “Brexit” would unleash market turmoil, torpedo British clout, undermine London’s status as a global financial capital, cripple the EU and undermine Western security.
Polls on Wednesday showed British voters leaning towards the “In” camp, but many remain undecided.
Asked about Obama’s views, Cameron told the British parliament:
“Personally I believe we should listen to advice from friends and other countries and I struggle to find the leader of any friendly country who thinks we should leave.”
Cameron has said that in the face of what he terms Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression, this is no time to drop out of the club Britain joined in 1973.
Courtesy : TheNews