Obama urges UK to stay in EU for ‘ world influence’

In a wide-ranging television interview, President Barack Obama has urged Britain to stay in the European Union in order to have influence on the world stage. He also admitted US gun laws were his “biggest frustration.”

Speaking to the UK’s BBC correspondent in Washington, US President Barack Obama said Britain must remain in the European Union to maintain its global influence. In previous interviews Obama has avoided taking a stance on such issues.

“Having the UK in the EU gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union, and is part of the cornerstone of the institutions built after (the second world war) that has made the world safer and more prosperous,” Obama said. “We want to make sure that the United Kingdom continues to have that influence,” he added.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is following up on an election pledge to negotiate with the EU for improved terms for Britain, ad then to hold a referendum on EU membership before the end of 2017.

Obama said that Britain was the US’ “best partner” because of its willingness to project power beyond its “immediate self-interests to make this a more orderly, safer world.”

US gun laws

Obama admitted that failure to pass “common sense gun safety laws” was the greatest frustration of his presidency.

“If you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it’s less than 100. If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it’s in the tens of thousands,” he commented.

“For us not to be able to resolve that issue has been something that is distressing,” Obama said.

While he has pressed for stricter gun control during his presidency, Obama has been unable to make any significant changes to the laws due to opposition in Congress.

Source: Deutsche Welle