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Obama: Calm down with Brexit, cataclysmic changes won't happen

Staff writer |
President Barack Obama cautioned against “hysteria” over the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union.

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“I think that the best way to think about this is, a pause button has been pressed on the project of full European integration,” Obama told National Public Radio in an interview.

“I don’t anticipate that there’s going to be major cataclysmic changes as a result of this.”

Obama noted that the the UK long ago opted out of the Euro, the common currency that forms the basis of the monetary union, and will remain a member of NATO.

In that way, he said, the UK will become more like Norway — still very involved in Europe and the world, but not through the EU.

“I would not overstate it. There’s been a little bit of hysteria post-Brexit vote, as if somehow NATO’s gone, and the trans-Atlantic alliance is dissolving, and every country is rushing off to its own corner. And that’s not what’s happening,” Obama said.

“What’s happening is you had a European project that was probably moving faster and without as much consensus as it should have.”

Obama said the European Union often seems “bureaucratic and deadlocked,” but that Europeans still share common core values.

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