President Obama said the United States respects the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, and that both nations will continue their “special relationship.”
“The people of the United Kingdom have spoken,” the president said in a statement on Friday morning from California. “And we respect their decision.”
The United Kingdom voted 52 percent to 48 percent to leave the European Union, showed results on June 24.
“The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy,” said Obama.
The president also says the United States will continue its relationship with the European Union, adding that the member states have promoted stability, democracy, and stimulated the economy.
“The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain, and Northern Ireland, and the world,” said Obama.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the United Kingdom’s position in NATO will “remain unchanged.”
“The U.K. will remain a strong and committed NATO Ally, and will continue to play its leading role in our Alliance,” said Stoltenberg in a statement.
“Today, as we face more instability and uncertainty, NATO is more important than ever as a platform for cooperation among European Allies, and between Europe and North America,” he added.
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) June 24, 2016
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced he will resign after the defeat in the referendum vote. A new leader for the United Kingdom should be put in place in October, Cameron said on Friday.
“I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months,” said Cameron, “but I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers the country to its next destination.”
Global markets came tumbling down after Brexit. The Dow’s average plunged by more than 400 points on Friday morning. The S&P 500 fell 2.24 percent and the Nasdaq fell 2.75 percent.