Brexit has put European integration on pause, says Obama

Washington, June 28 (IANS) Britain’s decision to leave the EU has put the project of full European integration on pause, US President Barack Obama on Tuesday said.

Obama told American media organisation NPR that Brexit has led to an over-reaction across the globe.

“There’s been a little bit of hysteria post-Brexit vote, as if somehow NATO’s gone, the trans-Atlantic alliance is dissolving, and every country is rushing off to its own corner. That’s not what’s happening,” he said.

He added that he would not “overstate” this hysteria.

“I think that the best way to think about this is, a pause button has been pressed on the project of full European integration.”

The US leader pointed at Norway, which is not an EU member but remains on friendly terms with the union.

“If over the course of what is going to be at least a two-year negotiation between England and Europe, Great Britain ends up being affiliated to Europe like Norway is, the average person is not going to notice a big change.”

Britain’s unprecedented decision to leave the EU has caused a furore across the world, with stocks plunging amid financial and political uncertainty. In the June 23 referendum, at least 51.9 per cent of Britain’s people voted for the country to leave the EU.

–IANS

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