Saturday

25th Sep 2021

Canada and US urge UK to stay in EU

  • Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau takes questions from journalists in the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, in 2015. (Photo: Justin Trudeau)

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau has joined the camp of international leaders that urged Britain to stay in the EU.

”Britain is always going to have clout, it’s just obviously amplified by its strength as part of the EU”, Trudeau told Reuters in Ottawa on Thursday (19 May).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Canada is part of the commonwealth of former British colonies and recognises Queen Elizabeth as its monarch.

But with the EU about to formalise a new trade pact with Canada, Trudeau indicated that old colonial ties would not give the UK any special privileges if it left the European bloc.

He warned that there was “nothing easy or automatic” about negotiating trade deals, with the freshly negotiated EU-Canada trade treaty having been 10 years in the making.

His statement echoed American president Barack Obama’s recent warning a month agothat “the UK would go to back of the queue” if it left the EU but wanted free trade with the US.

“Our focus is on negotiating with a big bloc,” Obama said, amid talks on an EU-US free trade deal.

His statement was reiterated by the US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, who also fretted over the consequences of Brexit in a CNN interview published on Thursday (19 May).

"The membership of the UN will be gathering in prayer and support for the Yes vote in advance of that vote next month," the Irish-born US diplomat said.

British culture backs remain

Luminaries from the British arts world have also ranged behind Downing Street’s call to remain in the EU.

A star-studded list of 250 actors, artists, musicians and writers signed a letter saying that Britain is not just stronger, but also more imaginative and creative in the EU.

“From the smallest gallery to the biggest blockbuster, many of us have worked on projects that would never have happened without vital EU funding or by collaborating across borders", the letter said.

”Our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away."

The list included Sherlock Holmes actor Benedict Cumberbatch, spy novelist John le Carre and pop star Jarvis Cocker.

A survey by the Creative Industries Federation, which will be published on Friday, shows that 96 percent of members of the creative sector want to remain in Europe.

The Leave campaign has so far gathered actor Michael Caine, Who frontman Roger Daltry and former England cricketer Ian Botham.

Polls divided

With little more than a month to the UK referendum on EU membership, polls are divided about the possible outcome.

A TNS poll published on Tuesday said 41 percent of respondents wanted to leave, while only 38 wanted to stay.

The same week, Ipsos MORI and a YouGov surveys said the "Bremain" campaign was winning over Brexit, with 55 to 37 and 44 to 40 percent each.

British bookmakers have also cut the odds on Britain voting to remain in the EU. Ladbrokes said 90 percent of EU referendum bets had supported Britain to stay.

The bookie was surprised that people kept putting money on Britain to remain, despite the low odds of winning their money back.

Obama: No quick UK trade deal if it leaves EU

Obama in London served a big blow to the Leave campaign saying the UK will be in the "back of the queue" in negotiating a trade deal with the US, if it were to leave the EU.

Obama: US needs Britain inside EU

Obama said in direct appeal to British voters that EU magnifies British foreign policy, while Britain helps to keep the EU from becoming introverted.

News in Brief

  1. Italy arrests Puigdemont on Spanish warrant
  2. EU and US hold trade talks despite French wrath
  3. EMA to decide on Pfizer vaccine booster in October
  4. EU welcomes Polish TV-station move
  5. Ukrainian parliament passes law to curb power of oligarchs
  6. EU could force Poland to pay lignite-coal fine
  7. Report: EU and US concerned by tech-giants' power
  8. EU states sign 'transparency pledge'

EU adds new 'dark red' zone to travel-restrictions map

The European Commission has proposed additional measures to limit non-essential travel within and to the European Union - amid fears over more transmissible mutations triggering a new surge in cases across the bloc.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed

Latest News

  1. Activists: 'More deaths' expected on Polish-Belarus border
  2. EU unveils common charger plan - forcing Apple redesign
  3. Central Europe leaders rail against 'new liberal woke virus'
  4. Yemen's refugees in 'appalling conditions', says UN agency
  5. VW emissions software was illegal, top EU lawyer says
  6. Sexism and the selection of the European Parliament president
  7. More French names linked to Russia election-monitoring
  8. Negotiations set for new, tougher, EU ethics body

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us