US President Obama warns against 'hysteria' over Brexit

US President Barack Obama warns against financial and global hysteria after Britain's vote to leave the European Union, telling National Public Radio that cataclysmic changes are unlikely.
US President Barack Obama warned against international "hysteria" following last week's vote for Britain to leave the EU.
US President Barack Obama warned against international "hysteria" following last week's vote for Britain to leave the EU.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States President Barack Obama on Tuesday (June 28) warned against international "hysteria" following last week's vote for Britain to leave the European Union.

In an interview with National Public Radio, the US President said that he respected the results of the referendum. However, for Mr Obama, the vote means that "a pause button has been pressed on the project of full European integration".

"I would not overstate it," he added. "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."

Mr Obama said the vote "speaks to the ongoing changes and challenges that are raised by globalisation". He described the results as a reaction to a rapidly growing European Union "that was probably moving faster and without as much consensus as it should have".

"I think this will be a moment when all of Europe says, 'Let's take a breath and let's figure out how do we maintain some of our national identities, how do we preserve the benefits of integration and how do we deal with some of the frustrations that our own voters are feeling'," Mr Obama told NPR.

The President added that he doesn't anticipate "major cataclysmic changes" as a result of the vote.