A prominent member of the British Parliament is telling Barack Obama to butt out of his nation’s affairs.
MP Gerard Batten, in an interview with Russia Today, was responding to U.S. comments about what the U.K. should do with regard to its future in the economically troubled European Union, which has been bludgeoned by the near-collapse of members such as Greece.
“This is a direct attempt to interfere in British domestic policies … and they are trying to frighten the British people,” Batten said.
“The politest thing I can say today is that President Obama should butt out of British affairs.”
Batten was reacting to Philip Gordon, a U.S. assistant secretary for European affairs, who slammed a the Eurosceptic movement in Britain, which seeks to withdraw the U.K. from the European Union.
Gordon said, in an interview with the London Guardian, “We want to see a strong British voice in that European Union. That is in the American interest.”
The U.S. official additionally attacked the notion of an in-or-out referendum on E.U. membership, one of the fundamental platforms of the United Kingdom Independence Party, saying “referendums have often turned countries inwards.”
The interviewer asked Gordon if the U.S. was sticking “its oar in” British affairs.
“There’s a difference between a country having a view about another country’s foreign policy and stating that … but I think this is a bit different,” Gordon replied.
But Batten pushed back.
“This is a direct attempt to interfere in British domestic policies, not our foreign policies but our domestic policies, are we a sovereign nation or not, and they’re trying to frighten the British people by saying we’d lose influence and it jeopardizes our special relationship,” he told Russia Today.
In an interview with WND, British MP Marta Andreasen said she found it “strange” that the Obama administration would comment on U.K. membership in the EU.
“I have not heard the president refer to the EU in any of his speeches. So I find it quite strange that he would now find it important to comment on U.K. membership,” she said.
“I would say that this comment is out of context.”
Andreasen explained the U.S. position on European integration.
“Obama thinks that big economies like the British and German should stick together; he can well think that the U.K. will be weakened” by continued EU membership, she said.
She argued that if the U.K. leaves the EU, if will be the rest of the EU that suffers not the U.K.
She acknowledged that the Americans is looking out for the interests of both nations.
“We trade with the U.S., and the U.S. has the right to say something if they wish. I just don’t think this comment came at the right moment.”
She noted the pressure being put on Prime Minister David Cameron to have a simple referendum allowing the British people to decide on EU membership.
“UKIP is putting a lot of pressure [on Cameron] and this has prompted Cameron to give a speech on the EU. They have exercised influence of U.S. politicians to come over and help [Europhiles],” she said.
She also commented on the potential growing strains on the U.S.-U.K. “special relationship” that was epitomized in the Margret Thatcher-Ronald Reagan friendship.
“The relationship is not where it was during the Thatcher era,” she said.
She additionally noted that though the U.S.-U.K. relationship is not at an all-time low, the policy of interjection is “not positive.”
The interjection by the U.S. into U.K. domestic policy regarding European integration is not new. In 2001, documents were leaked by whistleblowers from the Central Intelligence Agency, proving how the CIA funded the “yes” campaign for Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community, the predecessor of the European Union.
Additionally, former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and now President Obama have all expressed a desire to see Europe proceed further down the path towards integration. The view is supported in the U.S. by a number of powerful think tanks such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation and transnational discussion groups such as the Bilderberg group, the Club of Rome and the Trilateral Commission.
Batten said the U.S. wants the U.K. to stay in the EU so that there is a single contact for European activities. He said the U.K. is expected by many to stay because it is “the biggest paymaster” for the organization.
But Batten pointed that the U.K., for now, is sovereign.
“Every argument about why Britain should stay in the E.U. can be refuted,” he said. “The Americans should mind their own business.”