"There would even be an element of moral disapproval"by Andrew Stuttaford / February 17, 2016 / Leave a comment
The news that Barack Obama is, in the words of the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker, planning “a big, public reach-out” to persuade British voters to remain in the EU should not come as a great surprise. Obama has made his thoughts clear on this topic for a while now, and so have his surrogates, including Michael Froman, America’s most senior trade official. In October last year, Froman somewhat menacingly suggested that the US would not be particularly interested in signing a trade agreement with a post-Brexit Britain.
For his part, Obama was in sync with the long-established, bipartisan Washington line. Henry Kissinger may never have said, in the words famously attributed to him, “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” but the US has backed deeper European integration since the dawn of the Cold War. It was regarded as a supplement of sorts to NATO as well as a guarantee that Europeans would not again be at each other’s throats. Having, as they saw it, come in to rescue the old world twice in one century, Americans were anxious to avoid a third go-round.