Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

…many British people are puzzled, to say the least, about why President Obama should … urge us to remain in the EU, despite an impending collapse of the Eurozone which would impact far more on the UK than the US.

Lord Owen speaks about President Obama’s visit to the UK.
Vote Leave meeting, Welshpool, Friday 22 April 2016. 

When you are a member of a dysfunctional organisation like the EU that can neither reform nor restructure you have two choices: either to reluctantly remain in the organisation or be brave enough to leave. That is the choice that faces individual British voters on 23 June.

There has been a long tradition that US Presidential visits to this country do not take place close to General Election periods. The reasons for this are obvious and hitherto scrupulously observed by Washington D.C. They also govern Prime Ministers visiting the United States.

President Obama’s first Secretary of the Treasury has used some very tough language about the Eurozone in his book Stress Test published in 2014. In writing about 2010 he says, “The second drag on our recovery was Europe, which was in financial and economic disarray,” and “the European mess was a serious threat to us.”….”The sudden panic in Europe was shocking.”….”Now Europe was burning again, and it did not seem to have the tools or the desire to control the fire. The Eurozone was sixteen [now 19] nations with sixteen fiscal policies and sixteen banking systems…”

Geithner writes in words with which I totally agree. “For all the flaws of the U.S. system, our fragmented regulatory agencies were at least part of the same nation, with a common language and traditions. And we routinely transferred resources to economically weak regions through our national budget.”

Six years later despite constant urging by Geithner and Jack Lew, his successor as Secretary of the Treasury, the Eurozone remains basically unchanged though now practicing qualitative easing under ECB Chairman Draghi.

No wonder many British people are puzzled, to say the least, why President Obama should, in the light of his and our failure to reform the Eurozone, come into the midst of our referendum campaign to urge us to remain in the EU, despite an impending collapse of the Eurozone which would impact far more on the UK than the US.

Read the full test of Lord Owen’s speech here: PresidentObamaUKVisit

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