WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union is beneficial not only for the 28-state bloc, but also for the world, US President Barack Obama said.
"We very much are looking forward to the United Kingdom staying a part of the European Union because we think that its influence is positive not just for Europe, but also for the world," Obama said Sunday on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Germany.
According to the US leader, one of the values of the United Kingdom being an EU member is its "leadership and strength on a whole host of global challenges."
Last week, the British government initiated legislation to hold a referendum on the UK's status within the European Union and will hold a second hearing on the legislature on June 9.
The United Kingdom has been a member of the European Union since 1973. The bloc’s system of contributions to its budget and limited powers of its state governments on migration have recently contributed to the deterioration of the relations between London and Brussels.