British politicians in Leave.EU write open letter to President Obama

- Five cross party MPs and MEP Nigel Farage have written to President Obama calling on him to refrain from entering the EU referendum debate

- Open letter published in Washington DC will reach the White House, Members of Congress, executive offices on Capitol Hill

Mar 17, 2016, 12:46 ET from Leave.EU

LONDON, March 17, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leave.EU, made up of six British politicians across a range of parties, have written a personal appeal to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, calling on him to refrain from entering the UK's EU referendum debate when he next visits the UK.

The five MPs, Peter Bone (Conservative), Kate Hoey (Labour), Kelvin Hopkins (Labour), Tom Pursglove (Conservative) and Sammy Wilson (Democratic Unionist Party), together with MEP and UKIP leader Nigel Farage, are all active in campaigning with Grassroots Out and Leave.EU for the UK to withdraw from the European Union. Their letter joint said,

"With so much at stake, it is imperative that the question of exiting the European Union is not one answered by foreign politicians or outside interests, but rather by the British people who must ultimately live with change or the status quo.

"The British politicians declared that 'issues of national sovereignty must be decided exclusively by the people of the United Kingdom' and suggested 'even a passive diplomatic recommendation in the matter of our national decision will receive the opposite of the intended effect.'

"The referendum vote is an act of democracy in its most direct form, and the question of whether or not to leave the EU is a rare political topic that is not owned by any one political party. This is a chance for the British people to choose the path of their country. Interfering in our debate over national sovereignty would be an unfortunate milestone at the end of your term as President."

The open letter is being published in three journals that reach US politicians in Washington DCPolitico, Weekly Standard and Roll Call – with hard copies delivered to all Members of Congress in the Senate and House of Representatives as well as to the White House itself and Cabinet Offices located within the administrative Beltway.

Commenting about the letter, Kate Hoey, MP, said,

"We felt it is important the President of the United States is aware that feelings will run high in the UK if he chooses to make an intervention. We have chosen to respectfully request he recognises matters of sovereignty are best left to the citizens directly affected. We would certainly never think of visiting the United States and telling the US public how to vote in an election or the amendment of their constitution."

Peter Bone, MP, said,

"Whatever the President perceives the interests of the US to be it would be better for the relationship between our countries and his reputation with the British people if he kept his counsel to himself."

Editors' notes:

1. The full text of the letter reads:

Dear President Obama,

On June 23, citizens of the United Kingdom will decide on whether or not to leave the European Union in an historic referendum.

It is a vote of profound consequence that will decide whether matters of economics, trade, and security are best handled in conjunction with the broad needs of twenty eight member states or the direct concerns of the people of the United Kingdom.

With so much at stake, it is imperative that the question of exiting the European Union is not one answered by foreign politicians or outside interests, but rather by the British people who must ultimately live with change or the status quo.

The benefits of a truly independent United Kingdom begin with the optimistic prospects of a country that can thrive without the obstacles of tariffs and trade restrictions imposed by distant and unaccountable bureaucrats; but also include the responsible and respectable handling of our country's border policy amidst the ongoing migrant crisis.

Faced with a vote of "Leave" or "Remain" the approaching referendum also puts the matter of national destiny in the hands of the citizenship: Are we better served tethered to the needs and restrictions of the European Union or would an amicable break from the EU permit a surge in industry and innovation that would further bolster the UK as an economic force?

In the coming months the British public will evaluate the merits of a "Leave" or "Remain" vote and issues of national sovereignty must be decided exclusively by the people of the United Kingdom.

While it is understandable that a sitting US president feels the obligation to speak in the interest of the United States, it must be advised that even a passive diplomatic recommendation in the matter of our national decision will receive the opposite of the intended effect.

The referendum vote is an act of democracy in its most direct form, and the question of whether or not to leave the EU is a rare political topic that is not owned by any one political party. This is a chance for the British people to choose the path of their country. Interfering in our debate over national sovereignty would be an unfortunate milestone at the end of your term as President.

As fellow elected representatives we would therefore respectfully ask that you refrain from further politicizing this debate by intervening in our approaching referendum and instead allow democracy to take its course.

Peter Bone             Member of Parliament
Kate Hoey              Member of Parliament 
Kelvin Hopkins        Member of Parliament 
Tom Pursglove        Member of Parliament 
Sammy Wilson       Member of Parliament 
Nigel Farage           Member of the European Parliament

2. The journals carrying the open letter are:

Politico
CQ Roll Call
Weekly Standard
Washington Examiner  

3. The letter is a joint initiative between Grassroots Out (GO) and Leave.EU – a pdf of the letter can be provided on request. 

SOURCE Leave.EU