- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 21, 2016

Arriving in London Thursday night, President Obama doubled down with his meddling in Britain’s referendum on remaining in the European Union, a source of resentment among many Britons.

Writing in The Telegraph newspaper, Mr. Obama said the vote in June is being watched closely in the U.S.

“The U.S. and the world need your outsized influence to continue — including within Europe,” he said. “I will say, with the candor of a friend, that the outcome of your decision is a matter of deep interest to the United States.”

The president, who wants the United Kingdom to remain part of the EU, said “the question of whether or not the UK remains a part of the EU is a matter for British voters to decide for yourselves.”

But he also left no doubt where he stands on the issue.

“A strong Europe is not a threat to Britain’s global leadership; it enhances Britain’s global leadership,” he said. “The United States sees how your powerful voice in Europe ensures that Europe takes a strong stance in the world, and keeps the EU open, outward looking, and closely linked to its allies on the other side of the Atlantic.”

Mr. Obama has been accused of weakening the “special relationship” — a phrase first used by Prime Minister Winston Churchill — between the U.S. and Britain. He used the term three times in his op-ed.

“Our special relationship was forged as we spilled blood together on the battlefield,” the president said. “It was fortified as we built and sustained the architecture for advancing stability and prosperity in Europe, and our democratic values around the globe.”

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