POLITICS

Barack Obama Under Fire From Brexit Campaigners In New Attack Advert

Backlash time after his 'back of the queue' threat

31/05/2016 15:02 | Updated 31 May 2016
Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Brexit campaigners have ridiculed Barack Obama for threatening the UK with a backlash if it quits the EU.

A new attack ad by the Grassroots Out campaign hits back at the US President's warning that Britain would go to 'the back of the queue' in trade talks outside the European Union.

With just over three weeks to go to the EU referendum, the campaign placed full-page adverts in 21 regional newspapers on Tuesday.

The ad, which plays on the original 'Hope' poster that helped get Obama first elected in 2008, is designed to seize on Britons' anger at being told how to vote by a politician from overseas.

Its final pay-off line is: "Don't Be Bullied By Barack".

Grassroots Out

Tory MP Peter Bone said: "The Grassroots Out message is very straightforward. This is a battle between the people and the establishment.

"We may be David and they may be Goliath but we can win this referendum and voters must not be bullied by the likes of Obama."

The official Vote Leave campaign believes that the US President's intervention, during a trip to London in April, has backfired among floating voters.

It cites evidence that the polls did not shift in favour of the Remain camp and some focus group research suggests that while some Brits were impressed by Obama's words, others didn't like him 'interfering' in the June 23 EU referendum.

Polls found disapproval of Obama’s intervention with majorities of more than 55% and 60% in various surveys,

During a joint press conference with David Cameron, Obama said that an EU-US trade deal was his priority and that any UK-US trade pact would go 'to the back of the queue'.

No.10 were delighted by the warning, which was cited by the Remain camp repeatedly as proof of the folly of going it alone.

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Boris Johnson said that the US would never agree to join an institution like the EU, but was in turn criticised for saying the UK would take no lectures from a 'part-Kenyan' President.

Donald Trump has since said that if he is elected this November, he would look favourably on trade links with Britain, pointing out that Obama will no longer be in power from next January.

James McGrory, Chief Campaign Spokesman for Britain Stronger in Europe, told HuffPost UK:

"To disregard the views of our closest ally is both naïve and short-sighted.

"Far from ‘telling us what to do’, Barack Obama made it clear the decision on our future membership of the EU lies in the hands of the British public, but that a vote to leave would inevitably effect the Special Relationship.

"Whether it’s the Bank of England, the IMF or world leaders, Leave campaigners simply dismiss the views of experts about the impact of a vote to leave.

"Yet, whenever they’re asked what Britain would look like outside the EU, they simply say ‘we just don’t know’."

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