The US President warned the UK would be “at the back of the queue” for a trade deal with America if it quit Brussels.
But his threat provoked outrage and scorn from pro-Brexit campaigners, who dismissed it as yet another scaremongering ploy from the pro-EU lobby.
Mr Obama, who will no longer be in office when decisions on a trade deal are made, delivered a lecture to the British people on why he thinks it is in the UK’s, America’s and the world’s best interests for Britain to vote to stay in the EU on June 23.
He weighed into the debate despite being warned by a host of anti-EU campaigners to “butt out” of our referendum battle.
He said there could be a US-UK trade agreement “down the line” but warned: “It’s not going to happen any time soon, because our focus is on negotiating with a big bloc, the EU. The UK is going to be in the back of the queue.”
The claim, made during a joint news conference with David Cameron, angered Leave campaigners.
Tory Justice Minister Dominic Raab said Mr Obama had made “a pretty cynical intervention”.
He added: “We’ve got a lame duck president doing an old friend a favour for purely political reasons – and taking a few unnecessary risks, being a bit irresponsible with the special relationship between our two countries.
“You can’t say on the one hand that the relationship is essential and always will be, then say that if you don’t take my advice you’ll be at the back of the queue for a free trade deal. I don’t think the British people will be blackmailed by anyone