Barack Obama warns on global growth after Brexit
June 30, Brussels: President of United States Barack Obama has said the UK vote to leave the EU raises "longer-term concerns about global growth".
Obama said Brexit would freeze "the possibilities of investment in Great Britain or in Europe as a whole". He appealed to the UK prime minister and other EU leaders to ensure an orderly process for the British exit, media reports.
Earlier, EU leaders warned that the UK must honour the principle of free movement of people if it wants to retain access to the single market.
The leaders of the other 27 EU countries were meeting in Brussels without the UK for the first time in more than 40 years.
Obama was speaking at a summit in Ottawa with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, aimed at strengthening economic ties between North American countries.
He said the preparations by central banks and finance ministers indicated that "global economy in the short run will hold steady".
But he added: "I think there are some genuine longer-term concerns about global growth if in fact Brexit goes through and that freezes the
possibilities of investment in Great Britain or in Europe as a whole, BBC reported.
Obama said: "At a time when global growth rates were weak already, this doesn't help."
He also strongly defended free trade and promised to press on with plans for a Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Without mentioning Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump - who opposes the plan - he said: "We've had times throughout our history where anti-immigration sentiment is exploited by demagogues. But guess what? They kept coming."
Obama said his main message to Britain and Germany was: "Everybody should catch their breath. I think that will be a difficult, challenging process, but it does not need to be a panicky process,''
The president said he had spoken to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and that her interest was making sure Britain's exit worked, not retribution.
Merkel was one of many EU leaders to stress again on Wednesday that freedom of movement for EU citizens was an essential part of the single market - and that there would be no negotiations with the UK until the bloc was formally notified of its intention to leave, according to BBC news.
The Oslo Times International News Network