After meeting with outgoing U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the U.K. might not ever leave the E.U., despite the outcome of last week’s referendum.
“This is a very complicated divorce,” Kerry said at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado on Tuesday, according to Agence France-Presse, going on to note that “most of the people who voted to do it” neither know how to, nor seriously want to, execute the Brexit decision.
Cameron, who announced his resignation from the U.K.’s highest office shortly after the referendum results were announced last Friday, apparently told Kerry that he was reluctant to begin the withdrawal process. Kerry also said that there were “a number of ways” by which the U.K. could reverse the decision.
The Obama administration — in which Kerry has served since 2012 — has made no secret of its opposition to the Brexit decision. However, in a conversation with National Public Radio, President Obama warned against the “hysteria” that has followed the referendum, describing Brexit as only a “pause button” pressed “on the project of full European integration.”
“I would not overstate it,” he told NPR. “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. That’s not what’s happening.”