British Eurosceptics React Furiously To Obama#039;s EU Intervention

lt;pgt;Eurosceptics opposed to the U.K.#039;s membership of the European Union have reacted furiously to comments made by the U.S. President Barack Obama in a lt;a href=quot;http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-33647154quot; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;BBC interviewlt;/agt; yesterday, during which he urged Britain to avoid a so-called #039;Brexit#039; at all costs.lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;In the interview, broadcast on Thursday night, Obama warned that the UK must stay in the European Union in order to continue wielding influence on the world stage.lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;quot;Having the U.K. in the EU gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union, and is part of the cornerstone of the institutions built after [the Second World War] that has made the world safer and more prosperous,quot; the U.S. president said. quot;We want to make sure that the United Kingdom continues to have that influence.quot;lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;Obama also said that Britain was America#039;s quot;best and most important partnerquot; because of its willingness to look beyond quot;immediate self-interests to make this a more orderly, safer world.quot;lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;British Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed that a referendum on whether or not to remain a member of the EU will be held by the end of 2017. Since his election victory in May, Cameron has lt;a href=quot;http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-33196590quot; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;travelled around Europelt;/agt; hoping to rally support among EU leaders for a renegotiation of the terms of the U.K.#039;s membership. Among the changes Cameron is seeking is a curb on benefits for EU migrants living in the U.K.lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;Yet eurosceptics were quick to criticise Obama#039;s intervention. The former environment secretary Owen Paterson accused Obama of interfering in parliament#039;s business. He lt;a href=quot;http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-33647154quot; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;told the BBClt;/agt; that Obama was quot;trotting out the standard State Department consensus,quot; adding that the U.S. quot;two centuries ago fought not to have laws imposed on them so I don#039;t think he#039;s in a strong position when we want to make our own laws in our own Parliament.quot;lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;John Redwood, a former Conservative cabinet minister, wrote on his website that Obama was quot;wrongquot; and suggested he create his own quot;American Union,quot; adding that the U.S. was in no position to lecture the U.K.lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;quot;If letting foreign countries impose laws on you, levy taxes on you, and spend your money is such a good idea why doesn#039;t he create an American Union so Mexico can have common borders with the U.S., Cuba can spend U.S. tax on herself, and Brazil can impose laws on the U.S. the U.S. does not want,quot; Redwood wrote.lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;Other prominent eurosceptics were quick to wade into the debate. Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) tweeted: quot;Does President Obama understand that the European Union is a political union and not a loose association of member states?quot;lt;/pgt; lt;blockquote class=quot;twitter-tweetquot; lang=quot;enquot;gt; lt;p lang=quot;enquot; dir=quot;ltrquot;gt;Britain must not dance to Obama#039;s tune lt;a href=quot;http://t.co/mLfT8eMMmVquot; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;http://t.co/mLfT8eMMmVlt;/agt;lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;— UKIP (@UKIP) lt;a href=quot;https://twitter.com/UKIP/status/624504234415915008quot; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;July 24, 2015lt;/agt;lt;/pgt;lt;/blockquotegt; lt;blockquote class=quot;twitter-tweetquot; lang=quot;enquot;gt; lt;p lang=quot;enquot; dir=quot;ltrquot;gt;Does President Obama understand that the European Union is a political union and not a loose association of member states?lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) lt;a href=quot;https://twitter.com/Nigel_Farage/status/624487788566736896quot; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;July 24, 2015lt;/agt;lt;/pgt;lt;/blockquotegt; lt;pgt;Eurosceptic Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan added his thoughts to the debate on Twitter, remarking: quot;Tell you what, Barack Obama, if you#039;re so keen on the EU, why don#039;t *you* pay to bail out the wretched euro?quot;.lt;/pgt; lt;blockquote class=quot;twitter-tweetquot; lang=quot;enquot;gt; lt;p lang=quot;enquot; dir=quot;ltrquot;gt;Tell you what, Barack Obama, if you#039;re so keen on the EU, why don#039;t *you* pay to bail out the wretched euro?lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;— Daniel Hannan (@DanHannanMEP) lt;a href=quot;https://twitter.com/DanHannanMEP/status/624473146486337536quot; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;July 24, 2015lt;/agt;lt;/pgt;lt;/blockquotegt; lt;blockquote class=quot;twitter-tweetquot; lang=quot;enquot;gt; lt;p lang=quot;enquot; dir=quot;ltrquot;gt;Barack Obama unwise to pressurise Britain to stay in the EU for America#039;s convenience. We need to look to our own national interest first.lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;— Patrick O#039;Flynn (@oflynnmep) lt;a href=quot;https://twitter.com/oflynnmep/status/624326836781068289quot; rel=quot;nofollowquot;gt;July 23, 2015lt;/agt;lt;/pgt;lt;/blockquotegt; lt;pgt;However, Obama#039;s comments were welcomed by others. Hilary Benn, Labour#039;s shadow foreign secretary, applauded the comments, writing in a statement: quot;President Obama#039;s comments show how Britain#039;s partnership with the United States and our influence in the world are enhanced by our membership of the EU.lt;/pgt; lt;pgt;quot;Labour is fighting to protect Britain#039;s interests by campaigning to remain in Europe while David Cameron#039;s weakness and indecision are putting our country#039;s future international influence and prosperity at risk.quot;lt;/pgt;