Britain's vote to leave the European Union will not divide the "indispensable" partnership America has with the United Kingdom and the EU, U.S. President Barack Obama told an audience at Stanford University on Friday.
Obama said he had spoken to British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the vote, and that their economic teams will remain in close contact for the weeks and months ahead. The teams will stay focused on ensuring economic growth and financial stability, Obama said.
Cameron, who announced after the vote his intention to resign, assured Obama of the U.K.'s commitment to an orderly transition out of the EU, the president said. Obama said that shared values like pluralism, democracy and equal opportunity, as well as alliance through NATO, will continue to unite the U.S., U.K. and EU.
"Yesterday's vote speaks to the ongoing changes and challenges that are raised by globalization," Obama said. "But while the U.K.'s relationship with the EU will change, one thing that will not change is the special relationship that exists between our nations. That will endure."
Obama spoke from the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in California, where Obama was scheduled to speak on his commitment to tackling global challenges and bringing entrepreneurs together. It came on a day where global financial markets struggled to make sense of Britain's changing relationship with the European Union, with shares of major U.S. indexes falling more than 3 percent.
"The world has shrunk, it is interconnected," Obama said. "All of you represent that interconnection. Many of you are catalyzing it and accelerating it. It promises to bring extraordinary benefits. But it also has challenges. And it also evokes concerns and fears. Part of why this Global Entrepreneurship Summit has been so close to my heart, and something I've been so committed to, is because I believe all of you represent all the upside of an interconnected world."