UPDATE: Since this article was published Barack Obama has visited the UK and said a Brexit would put the UK “back of the queue” for trade talks.

The American President, Barack Obama, has spoken out in favour of the UK staying in the EU.

In an interview with the BBC, Obama said that the UK’s membership within the EU “gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union.”

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“[The EU] is part of the cornerstone of institutions built after WW2 that have made the world safer and more prosperous. We want to make sure the UK continues to have that influence” he continued.

Check out the full article and watch the video here.

“a decision with profound implications for our common security and our shared values”

Separately former presidential candidate and Senator John McCain has urged Brits to vote to remain in the Union and warned a UK departure could weaken Europe in the eyes of Vladimir Putin.

He said the UK’s membership of the EU was a “vital contributor to the security and prosperity of Europe and the United States.”

“Whatever the outcome of the referendum on EU membership, it will send a strong message to Vladimir Putin. This is a decision for the British people, but one with profound implications for our common security and our shared values.”

Close allies, the UK and the USA have what is often called a Special Relationship. The USA accounts for the United Kingdom’s largest single export market, buying $57 billion worth of British goods in 2007. Total trade of imports and exports between the United Kingdom and the United States amounted to the sum of $107.2 billion in 2007.

The US and the UK also share the world’s largest foreign direct investment partnership: in 2005, American direct investment in the United Kingdom totalled $324 billion while British direct investment in the United States amounted to $282 billion.

Close enough to survive a #Brexit?

There is no doubt the USA and the UK will continue to have strong historical ties even if Britain decide to leave the EU. However the US has made it unequivocally clear that it would prefer to see a strong Britain with an influential role inside of the EU. Should the UK leave the era of the Special Relationship may come to an end as the US strengthens ties with other EU partners instead.

No trade deal with USA outside the EU

Michael Froman, US trade representative, says the US is “not particularly in the market for free trade agreements with individual countries.”

“I think it’s absolutely clear that Britain has a greater voice at the trade table being part of the EU, being part of a larger economic entity,” Froman said, adding that European Union membership gives the United Kingdom more leverage in negotiations.

“We’re building platforms … that other countries can join over time.” If Britain leaves the EU “they would be subject to the same tariffs, and other trade-related measures, as China, or Brazil or India,” he said.

Obama interview via BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-33647154
John McCain, via the Mirror: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/john-mccain-wades-eu-referendum-7583398 
Michael Froman on trade via Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/28/us-britain-eu-usa-idUSKCN0SM2LS20151028

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