BELGRADE – Britain’s decision to leave the EU has put the project of full European integration on pause, US President Barack Obama has said.
Obama told American media organization NPR on Tuesday that Brexit has led to an over-reaction across the globe.
“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,” he said.
He added that he wouldn’t “overstate” this hysteria.
“I think that the best way to think about this is, a pause button has been pressed on the project of full European integration.”
The US leader pointed at Norway, which is not an EU member but remains on friendly terms with the union.
“If over the course of what is going to be at least a two-year negotiation between England and Europe, Great Britain ends up being affiliated to Europe like Norway is, the average person is not going to notice a big change.”
The UK’s unprecedented decision to leave the EU has caused a furor across the world, with stocks plunging amid financial and political uncertainty. On June 23, at least 51.9 percent voted to leave the union.
In the EU, Brexit inspired politicians and activists to ponder similar initiatives. French National Front leader Marine Le Pen called for a referendum on leaving the EU, although her initiative was rejected by President François Hollande.
In Finland over 10,000 people have already signed a freshly launched petition to hold a ‘Fixit’ referendum. Dutch anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders said the Netherlands had the right to a ‘Nexit’ vote, while across the Atlantic people in the US state of Texas have starting pushing for a – a Texas split from the USA – on social media.