Obama warns UK against isolationism and xenophobia

24 April 2016
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The US President was given a rock star welcome by more than 500 young British people at a ‘town hall’ style question and answer event in London.
“We see new calls for isolationism, for xenophobia,” Obama said.

“When I speak to young people, I implore them, and I implore you, to reject those calls to pull back.”

“I am here to ask you to reject the notion we are gripped by forces that we cannot control. And I want you to take a longer and more optimistic view of history.”

He developed the theme during a question and answer session.

“Because things are changing so fast, there’s a temptation to forge identities, tribal identities, that give you a sense of certainty, a buffer against change and that is something that our young people…we have to fight against,” Obama told the audience.

“The forces that lead to the most violence and the most injustice typically spring out of people saying: ‘I want to feel important by dividing the world into us and them.’”

Britain’s June referendum on its EU membership was not raised but, on Friday, Obama warned that should the UK leave, it would be at the back of the queue for a trade deal with the United States.

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