Barack Obama: UK and EU will remain “indispensable” allies of the US after Brexit
Barack Obama has committed the United States to work closely with both the United Kingdom and the European Union in the wake of the the historic vote for Brexit.
The President of the US, who said the UK could be sent to the "back of the queue" for trade negotiations if it decided to leave, said both the UK and the EU were key allies and they would continue to work closely over economic co-operation and on security.
In a statement issued this afternoon, Obama said:
"The special relationship between the US and the UK is enduring, and the UK's membership in Nato remains a vital cornerstone of US foreign, security and economic policy.
"So too is our relationship with the EU, which has done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideas across the continent and beyond."
In a visit to the UK at the end of April, Obama said it was the US' preference that the UK remain a member of the EU, claiming it would not dedicate resources to negotiating a trade deal with the UK if it voted to separate from the other 27 countries.
This caused consternation among Brexit campaigners who told the US president they would never accept a dilution of sovereignty on the terms the UK has with the EU.
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Obama added he would "respect" the decision, saying: "The UK and the EU will remain indispensable partners of the US 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."