- The Washington Times - Friday, June 24, 2016

President Obama said Friday that the shocking Brexit vote reflected the fears stirred by globalization, but he pledged that it would not affect the United States’ relationship with either the United Kingdom or the European Union.

“Yesterday’s vote speaks to the ongoing changes and challenges that are raised by globalization,” Mr. Obama said at the federally-sponsored Global Entrepreneurship Summit held at Stanford University.

He explained the vote, in part, by saying globalization offers extraordinary benefits but also “evokes concerns and fears.”

Mr. Obama publicly pushed for U.K. voters to remain in the EU.

The vote to exit also delivered a blow to British Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced he would step down in the fall to clear the way for “fresh leadership” for the exit.

The vote, which rattled markets around the world, raised concerns that the EU would break apart as a result.

Mr. Obama said that he had spoken to both Mr. Cameron and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, which will stand alone as the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the EU once Britain leaves.

“While the U.K.’s relationship with the EU will change, one thing that will not change is the special relationship that exists between our nations. That will endure,” he said.

The president called Mr. Cameron an “outstanding friend and partner” who was committed to an orderly exit from the EU.

“We agreed that our economic and financial teams will remain in close contact as we stay focused in ensuring economic growth and financial stability,” Mr. Obama said.

The president said Mrs. Merkel agreed that they would work closely with the U.S. during the transition.

“The EU will remain one of our indispensable partners,” he said.

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