Obama: UK at ‘end of queue’ if it leaves EU

Obama: UK at ‘end of queue’ if it leaves EU
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President Obama warned Great Britain it will move to the end of the line for U.S. trade deals if it pulls out of the European Union.

“I think its fair to say that maybe some point down the line there might be a U.K.-U.S. trade agreement, but its not going to happen anytime soon because our focus is negotiating with a big bloc, the European Union to get a trade agreement done,” Obama said.

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“The U.K. is going to be in the back of the queue. Not because we don’t have a special relationship but because given the heavy lift on any trade agreement, us having access to a big market with a lot of countries rather than trying to do piecemeal trade agreements is hugely inefficient.”

Obama, who wrote an op-ed published Friday that called on Great Britain to stay in the EU, defended his position in a lengthy bilateral press conference with Prime Minister David Cameron.

He said the decision on staying in the EU was up to Great Britain’s voters but argued it was appropriate for the U.S. president to offer his opinion.

“This is a decision for the people of the United Kingdom to make,” he said in a press conference in London, standing alongside Cameron. “I’m not coming here to fix any votes. I’m not casting a vote myself. I’m offering my opinion.”

“In democracies, everyone should want more information, not less.”

Cameron supports Great Britain’s membership in the EU, and Obama’s comments could be seen as a political favor to the U.K. leader.