Obama rips Brexit ‘hysteria’ as markets rally – USA TODAY
World stock benchmarks stabilized Tuesday after days of stomach-churning swings as investors started shaking off the jitters from Britain’s vote to quit the European Union and its messy aftermath.
President Obama on Tuesday added his voice to the chorus of world leaders calling for calm over “Brexit” while global financial markets tookÂ back some of theÂ massive losses they absorbedÂ afterÂ the United Kingdom’sÂ historic vote to leave the European Union.
“There’s been a little bit of hysteria post-Brexit vote, as if somehow NATO’s gone, the trans-Atlantic alliance is dissolving, and every country is rushing off to its own corner,” Obama said on National Public Radio. “That’s not what’s happening.”
Obama, who had urged Britons to “remain” in the EU, said the bloc was growing fast and struggling for consensus in an era of rapid globalization.
“This will be a moment when all of Europe says, ‘Let’s take a breath and let’s figure out how do we maintain some of our national identities,” Obama told National Public Radio.
Global financial markets, after mostly tanking Friday and Monday, showed signs of recovery Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial average and S&P 500 were eachÂ up more than 1% shortly after trading opened.Â Britain’s benchmark FTSE 100 stock index reboundedÂ to gain almost 2.5%.
Outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron, in Brussels toÂ meet with European Union leadersÂ for the first time since the vote, tried to assure the world that the U.K. won’t “turn our backs on Europe.”
âI very much hope weâll seek the closest possible relationship in terms of trade and cooperation and security, because that is good for us and good for them,”Â Cameron said Tuesday.
Cameron ruled out a second referendum despite an online petition seeking anotherÂ vote that was signed by more than 3 million people.
The leaders of France, Germany and Italy said that no talks on leaving the bloc couldÂ be held until the U.K. invokes Article 50 of the EU treaty, which triggers the exit processÂ â “Brexit.”
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European CommissionÂ â the EU’s executiveÂ â banned any informal negotiations Tuesday andÂ said Britain must clarify its position as soon as possible.Â “We cannot allow ourselves to remain in a prolonged period of uncertainty,â he said.
German leader Angela Merkel said the U.K.Â âcannot expect to have no more obligations but keep privilegesâ of ties with the bloc.Â Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, saidÂ the British capital needs more autonomyÂ to protect the economy.
EU President Donald Tusk saidÂ a meeting ofÂ EU leadersÂ â minus CameronÂ or his successor âÂ will take place inÂ Bratislava, theÂ Slovak capital,Â in September.
Cameron said he would step down as prime minister by October and the Brexit detailsÂ should be worked out by his successor. Lawmakers from the ruling Conservative Party voted for nominations to replace himÂ to open Wednesday, which would put a new leader in place by Sept. 2.
Nigel Farage âÂ the leader of the U.K. Independence Party and a prominent âleaveâ campaigner â angeredÂ members of the European Parliament when he told them “virtually none of you have ever done a proper job”Â atÂ an emergency sessionÂ Tuesday.
“When I came here 17 years ago and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign go get Britain out of theÂ European Union, you all laughed at me. Well, I have to say, youâre not laughing now, are you?” saidÂ Farage,Â a member of the European Parliament for southeastern England.
After Farage applauded a statement by Juncker that Europe must respect British democracy,Â Juncker told him: “Thatâs the last time you are applauding here.â
âTo some extent I am really surprised that you are here,â Juncker added. “You were fighting for the exit, the British people voted in favor of the exit. Why are you here?â
Tony Blair, who served as prime minister between 1997 and 2007, toldÂ MSNBCâs Morning Joe that he was âvery surprisedâ about the vote, which he called aÂ âreal-time, real-life experiment.â
âI wouldn’t write us out of Europe yet,” he said. “I think there’s a lot still to come. The question is what type of relationship. I mean I can’t see us having another referendum at this point. But I wouldn’t rule anything out.â
The fallout also hitÂ Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, who was accused by party members of failingÂ to aggressivelyÂ back “remain.â Â Corbyn was trounced in a no-confidence vote Tuesday, setting up a likely scramble for his job.
An EU official said Monday that English will no longer be one of the blocâs official languages after Britain leaves the alliance.
âWe have a regulation â¦ where every EU country has the right to notify one official language,â said Danuta HÃ¼bner, the headÂ of the European Parliamentâs Constitutional Affairs Committee. âThe Irish have notified Gaelic, and the Maltese have notified Maltese, so you have only the U.K. notifying English. If we donât have the U.K., we donât have English.â
Scotland’s leader,Â Nicola Sturgeon, said she was exploring possible ways to stay inÂ the bloc after Scotland voted “remain” in Thursday’s referendum.
Reports of migrant abuse and hate crimes rose after the vote. KhanÂ put police on heightened alert, vowingÂ there would be “zero tolerance” for such acts.
The Irish foreign office said there has been a rush of passport inquiries from BritonsÂ desperate to retain EU citizenship.