Obama: Brexit "hysteria" excessive; average person won't see changes

US President Barack Obama is warning against "hysteria" over Britain's vote to leave the European Union last week.

"I would not overstate it," Obama said in a National Public Radio interview, aired on Tuesday. "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."

Instead, Obama said the vote should be viewed as "a pause button" on "the project of full European integration." He said the vote could be seen as a reaction to the growth of the EU "that was probably moving faster and without as much consensus as it should have."

Obama compared Britain to Norway, which is not a member of the European Union, but still plays an integral role with the US and on the continent. If Britain negotiates a similar role, "the average person is not going to notice a big change," Obama said.

Obama had said during a visit to London earlier this year that he hoped Britain would remain part of the bloc, but after the referendum stressed that the US-British relationship would remain strong.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 22:24

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