Britain's place in the world would be diminished if we were to leave the EU , US President Barack Obama has said. Pro-European business campaign, Business for New Europe, said this showed how damaging it would be to the future of Britain's interests outside Europe. Obama said that the UK's EU membership "gives us much greater confidence about the strength of the transatlantic union", putting paid to the idea of some kind of special relationship for Britain outside the EU.
Lucy Thomas, Campaign Director of Business for New Europe, said:
"President Obama's comments underline the essential strategic importance of the UK's place in Europe: it is because of our membership that we are valued as such an important ally. The President's carefully considered words show once again what is at stake in this referendum campaign.
"Because our place in Europe doesn't just make sense in Washington, our status in capitals around the world is enhanced by our place at Europe's top table.
"Those who are now campaigning for EU exit now have a responsibility to explain to the British people what 'out' would really look like for the UK. What damage would a British exit cause to our strategic partnerships - such as our longstanding relationship with the United States? And how would the UK influence global affairs without a voice inside the world's largest single market?
"Those who campaign for exit have long ignored the facts about the economic benefits of the UK's EU membership, but they can no longer ignore the impact exit could have on our influence in world affairs."