Coffee House

Coffee House Podcast: Barack Obama’s Brexit intervention

22 April 2016

12:33 PM

22 April 2016

12:33 PM

Barack Obama has waded into the Brexit debate but should he be lecturing us about the EU referendum? On this special edition of the Coffee House podcast, Spectator editor Fraser Nelson is joined by Isabel Hardman and James Forsyth to discuss whether the President’s intervention is a welcome one and whether it will actually work.


On the podcast, Isabel Hardman says:

‘I think the out campaign is certainly hoping that Barack Obama will be seen to be patronising British voters and patronising Britain suggesting that it is a sort of weak nation. And I think also the idea of foreign governments lecturing voters on what they should do in their referendum is certainly something the out campaign will look to exploit. The problem is that having all of these big figures from around the world on the side of remain and no one really who leave can field of the same stature.’

Barack Obama is due to deliver his Downing Street press conference alongside David Cameron later on this afternoon – and the EU is certain to come up as a topic. But why has he decided to speak up about what he sees as the dangers of Brexit? As James Forsyth says on the podcast:

‘I think he’s doing this for multiple reasons, The first is that the US views it as in its interest for Britain to stay in the EU. I think the other reason is to help out the Government: it is classic government-to-government co-operation.’

Whilst Fraser Nelson says, whatever people think about the rights and wrongs of Obama’s intervention, that:

‘I can’t think of any politician whose endorsement would be more valuable to the remain campaign’.

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