Britain at the Back of the Queue for Trade Deals? I don’t think so Mr. Obama.

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In an interview with the BBC Barack Obama stated that it could take the UK up to 10 years to negotiate a trade deal with the US if the UK leaves the EU and that Britain would go to the “back of the queue” for trade deals. A stark and ominous statement from what is supposedly Britain’s closest ally. Any reduced trade between the UK and US post-a potential EU leave could cost the British economy billions a year and potentially be detrimental to any economic stability for years to come.

But that is exactly why Mr. Obama is wrong. Currently US-UK trade is $56 billion, with the US being the biggest investor in the UK with $324 billion and the UK the biggest investor in the US with $282 billion. With the potential economic impacts being that high there is no chance the UK would be at the back of the queue for any trade deals. It would be detrimental for both the UK and the US to suddenly and dramatically reduce trade.

What about the US-UK special relationship Mr. Obama? For over 100 years Britain has stood by the United States of America. We have supported your diplomatic foreign policy across the globe; provided troops, supplies and logistical help to wars and peacekeeping from Korea to Iraq and the sharing of intelligence to keep British and American lives safe. Does this not mean anything to you? It does to the American people. In a survey carried out by Capx of YouGov’s First Verdict panel of US voters of whether they agreed that Britain could not expect special treatment by two-to-one they disagreed. 59% of those who voted said that the US and UK have always had a special relationship and therefore America should never put Britain at the back of the line.

Mr. Obama throughout his time in office has always shied away from the Special Relationship, a stark contrast to the Blair-Bush era, but this is a step further. He’s openly threated the British people; not very well it has to be said as a YouGov survey found 41% annoyed or angered by Obama’s comments, while only 25% pleased!

But nevertheless he has threatened the British public, openly and unapologetically. However, what is more embarrassing is that an American president has come to London, threatened the British people and our Prime Minister has said nothing to counter these intimidations. Yes, Cameron and the Vote Stay camp will use Obama’s words as a reason to stay in the UK and yes, you can say it’s fair enough that the American President has given his views on US-UK trade deals; but for the British people to be spoken to like that, with no defence from their Prime Minister is embarrassing. As journalist and talkRadio presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer said “Don’t be angry at Obama. Be angry at Cameron for standing beside him & smiling as Obama threatened the British people”.

Mr. Obamas comments, however threatening and unsupported by the American and British people are was one thing, but to be said in London whilst our Prime Minister stood by and smiled was something else. Yes this is all part of the political game of Stay or Leave the EU, but surely there’s a line? Mr. Cameron, stand up for the country you call the greatest country on earth.


Label is the publication of Loughborough Students’ Union. The opinions in our magazines and online are those of individual contributors, not of Loughborough Students’ Union, the editorial team, or any other officer of the union unless otherwise stated. 

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About Author

Jack is a member of LSU Media's Senate as Chair of Hall Media, marking and helping develop the skills of the hall media reps. As well as this, Jack works with LSUTV primarily producing and editing Freshers "60 Second News" and also writing News and Critical pieces for Label. Jack was previously a media rep for Robert Bakewell, seeing his hall win Hall Media in 2015. He also represents media on the Hall Students Federation (HSF).

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