‘No Borders’ John Kerry: EU Membership Magnifies Britain’s Global Role


Britain’s membership of the European Union has magnified its role on the global stage, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.

Kerry was talking to reporters in London just a few weeks after President Barack Obama visited the capital to urge Britons to stay in the EU, warning that the country would be at “the back of the queue” for a U.S. trade deal if it left.

Last week Secretary Kerry told university students in Boston to prepare for a “borderless world”.

Speaking at Northeastern University, he said: “Many of you were in elementary school when you learned the toughest lesson of all on 9/11… There are no walls big enough to stop people from anywhere, tens of thousands of miles away, who are determined to take their own lives while they target others.”

“So I think that everything that we’ve lived and learn tells us that we will never come out on top if we accept advice from sound-bite salesmen and carnival barkers who pretend the most powerful country on Earth can remain great by looking inward,” Kerry added. “And hiding behind walls at a time that technology has made that impossible to do and unwise to even attempt.”

“The future demands from us something more than a nostalgia for some rose-tinted version of the past that did not really exist in any case,” he said. “You’re about to graduate into a complex and borderless world.”

His comments on Britain and the EU however are hardly novel. In February he said in a speech: “Europe is going to emerge stronger than ever, provided it stays united and builds common responses to these challenges… Now obviously, the United States has a profound interest in your success, as we do in a very strong United Kingdom staying in a strong EU.”

Britons vote in a referendum on June 23 on whether the country should remain in the bloc.

Reuters contributed to this report