Prime Minister David Cameron asked Barack Obama to claim Brexit would put the UK at the “back of the queue” for a trade deal with the U.S. to help scare and deter the British people from voting to leave the European Union (EU), it has been confirmed.
Former White House staffer Ben Rhodes suggested in a book last month that advisers to the former Tory Prime Minister asked the then U.S. President to use a “form of” these words publically.
Now, speaking on BBC Radio 4 on Monday, he confirmed Mr Cameron’s team pushed for the statement — which was widely perceived as part of the anti-Brexit “project fear” — to be said publicly.
Shameful. Thank God he and Osborne have gone. https://t.co/dvssYxPecF
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) July 2, 2018
“Yeah, well we had come here to try to help the Remain campaign and we had a meeting with Cameron and his team and we were all in violent agreement about the negative consequences of Brexit,” he said.
“And talking about the conference they were going to hold together, we were discussing the arguments for the Brexit campaign.
“And some of the arguments were this idea that the United States could just negotiate a new deal with the UK quickly and we all agreed that’s unlikely to happen.
“And as Obama was saying that someone on the British side said, ‘we’d end up being at the back of the queue’ and Obama said that is completely right and then he was asked [by David Cameron] it would be good if you could repeat that point in the press conference [sic].”
Back in April 2016, Mr Obama warned that a post-Brexit trade deal was “not going to happen anytime soon”, adding: “Our focus is in negotiating with a big bloc of the European Union to get a trade agreement done, and the UK is going to be in the back of the queue.”
The statement was widely perceived as a threat from the global left-wing elite towards the British public, that they would face consequences if they backed populist causes and retook sovereignty from the EU.
However, Brexit leader Nigel Farage later claimed the stunt backfired and caused a “Brexit Bounce” with Britons defiantly getting behind leaving the EU in the face of foreign intimidation.
The new U.S. President Donald J. Trump has also mocked Mr. Obama’s claims and his team has promised to put the UK at the “front of the queue” for a trade deal.
Brexit Trade Deal ‘Will Get Done’ by Trump, Says U.S. Ambassador https://t.co/SQ47i8GEoo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 11, 2018