Brexit Leader: ‘Keep Sending Obama Over’

Movement to leave EU saw bounce in polls after President Obama’s visit

Aaron Banks
Aaron Banks / AP
May 4, 2016

Brexit leaders are thrilled President Barack Obama came out against them, because they are seeing a bounce in the polls.

Arron Banks, the British entrepreneur leading a grassroots effort to leave the European Union, said he hopes the president continues urging the United Kingdom to remain a member state, during a trip to Washington last weekend. Banks, the chairman of Leave.EU, met with government officials and think tanks to gain support for "Brexit," the movement to leave the European Union, when the U.K. votes on the EU referendum on June 23.

Banks said issues of immigration and economics should make Americans invested in whether its oldest ally leaves the EU.

"I think it’s hugely important geopolitically because the European Union is developing into a kind of United States of Europe, and that’s something the British are naturally pretty anti," Banks told the Washington Free Beacon. "And it’s really come down to the point where most of our laws are now being made in Brussels—65 percent. Our ultimate court is in France and we’ve got open borders to 500 million people. So clearly immigration is a massive issue, it’s not dissimilar to a lot of the stuff they are discussing with Trump, in the sense of [how] some of these issues resonate."

Banks said the American equivalent of being in the European Union would make Congress in Toronto, the Supreme Court in Havana while having a completely open border to Mexico.

"People are pretty cross," he said.

Banks said a core issue is being able to return sovereignty back to the British parliament, "so you can sack your politicians when you don’t like them."

"The president of the European Union has never been elected. So there’s a massive democratic deficit," he said. "Can you imagine in America that you just have an appointed president, it wouldn’t be popular, would it?"

Banks said he sees "huge parallels" in the movement to leave the European Union and the anti-establishment fervor during the current presidential primary cycle.

"It’s the sentiment in a lot of European countries where we’ve got these kind of Eurosceptic movements, where the establishment is trying to contain it because they love Brussels," he said. "Big companies love it, politicians love it, because what’s not to love? You finish your job as prime minister of Luxembourg and you become president of the European Union."

Banks criticized Obama for his recent trip to London, where he threatened that leaving the European Union would cause the U.K. to "be in the back of the queue," in terms of trade. The phrase led many to speculate the president was given talking points from Prime Minister David Cameron.

"He basically said if you leave the European Union you’ll go to the back of the trade queue," Banks said. "Number one, we don’t particularly like being threatened in our home doorstep. Number two, everyone was slightly confused why he used the word queue and not line. It led to a lot of discussion whether he had just been given it to read. So I think he was briefed obviously by the British government, and it was a favor."

"But since his appearance polls have actually gone in the other direction," Banks added. "We need to hear more from him, really. Send him back for another go, we’d be delighted to see him again."

Banks is optimistic about the referendum vote, despite close polling, because core supporters of Brexit tend to be more energized. A new poll following Obama’s visit saw Brexit gaining support over the Remain campaign, 51 to 49 percent.

 The Free Beacon asked Banks what Americans can do if they are sympathetic to his cause.

"Keep sending Obama over," he said.

Published under: European Union