Obama On Brexit: ‘We Respect Their Decision’

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June 24, 2016 9:43 a.m.

Reacting to the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, President Obama said Friday he respected voters’ decision, while stressing the “vital” relationships the United States has with both the United Kingdom and the European Union.

“The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world,” the President said in a statement released by the White House.

Back in April, President Obama warned that if the United Kingdom left the European Union, it risked being “in the back of the queue” in trade deals the United States was negotiating with Europe — comments that prompted a backlash from Brexit proponents.

Obama’s full statement on the Brexit vote is below:

The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy. So too is our relationship with the European Union, which has done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond. The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world.

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