President Obama on Brexit Vote: ‘We Respect Their Decision’

June 24, 2016, 2:04 PM UTC
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Britain’s stunning decision to leave the European Union sent global markets reeling and led U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron to announce his resignation.

In a two-day visit in April, President Barack Obama encouraged Britain to remain in the EU, while also stressing that the decision was up to the nation’s voters. Early on Friday, the White House released a statement from President Obama in which he said “the people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision.”

Here’s the complete statement:

The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy. So too is our relationship with the European Union, which has done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond. The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world.