Republicans who have shied away from political battles with President Obama might benefit from a consultation with the editorial board at the Daily Mail, which had this reaction to the president’s comments about a potential British exit from the European Union.

The tone was patronising, the language menacing – and the message not only hypocritical but, frankly, insulting.

Certainly, Barack Obama has every right to say he thinks it’s in America’s best interests for Britain to remain in the EU, if that is what he believes.

But he has no business to come here and preach that submission to Brussels is good for the people of the UK.

By arguing that a Britain outside the EU would be at the ‘back of the queue’ for a trade deal, to Number 10’s delight, Mr Obama displayed contempt for voters and left little doubt that he sees the special relationship as a one-way street.

Has he forgotten he leads a nation founded to proclaim independence from overseas control, whose citizens died for the right to make their own laws?

Will he not admit that the US wouldn’t agree in a million years to join a body like the EU, putting the Supreme Court in Washington under the thumb of foreign judges? Or that freedom-loving America wouldn’t tolerate for a second the statist edicts spewing daily from Brussels?

Why, then, does he abuse the UK’s hospitality by urging Britons to remain in a relationship his own people would never countenance?

Mr Obama’s grasp of history is shaky, too, if he believes the EU can take credit for seven decades of relative peace.

Yes, a new spirit of friendship between European nations sprang up after 1945. But this had far more to do with memories of the horrors of two world wars than with any Brussels institution.

No, the true peacekeeper has surely been Nato, whose shield protected the continent from the Soviet Union’s might during the Cold War – while our intelligence-sharing arrangements, on which our security from terrorism depend, have nothing to do with the EU.

Which brings us to Mr Obama’s own sorry record as Commander-in-Chief and architect of America’s foreign policy.

This is the man who made way for the rise of IS by his reckless withdrawal from Iraq. He has failed even to honour his pledge to close Guantanamo Bay. And his chief foreign policy ‘success’ has been a deal with terrorist-sponsoring Iran.

In the spirit of ‘friends who have no fear of each other’, to borrow his words, aren’t we entitled to ask why Britain should take advice from this President on how to conduct our own affairs?

Just as a good a question: Why should Americans take advice from this president on how to conduct our own affairs? He’s long since lost his halo (so to speak).