Obama Expresses ‘Regret’ with Brexit Result

Obama Global Entrepreneurship APGeorge Nikitin
AP/George Nikitin

President Barack Obama indicated that globalization of the world economy would continue despite the decision of the United Kingdom to exit the European Union.

“The world has shrunk. It is interconnected,” Obama said during his appearance at the Global Entrepreneur Summit in California today, citing a commitment to a “globalized world.”

But he signaled that the Brexit vote was a negative reaction to globalization, calling it a symbol of the “ongoing changes and challenges.”

Obama confirmed that he spoke with Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the Brexit vote to discuss their future.

According to a White House readout of the call, Obama “expressed his regret” that Cameron decided to step aside as Prime Minister. The White House also revealed that both Merkel and Obama said they “regretted” the decision by the British people to leave the European Union, but “respected the will of the British people.”

“I’m confident that the UK is committed to an orderly transition out of the EU,” he said, vowing to continue the special relationship with the UK but also to recognize the EU as “one of our indispensable partners.”

Obama welcomed entrepreneurs around the world to the United States, pointing to the growing businesses around the interconnected world.

“All of you represent that interconnection. Many of you are catalyzing it and accelerating it,” he said. “It promises to bring extraordinary benefits, but it also has challenges and it also invokes concerns and fears.”