David Cameron, former British prime minister, speaks at USC

The benefits of globalization and the values that bind the U.K. and the U.S. took center stage as David Cameron, former prime minister of the U.K., visited USC on Thursday.

Cameron addressed more than 1,000 at Bovard Auditorium as part of USC President C. L. Max Nikias’ Distinguished Lecture series.

“He pushed through welfare reform, reduced the number of people living in poverty, and helped create more than 1.5 million new jobs,” Nikias said. “He introduced a national living wage, won passage of gay rights legislation, and won a national referendum to keep Scotland part of the United Kingdom.

“What Mr. Cameron achieved between 2010 and 2016 was nothing short of astonishing,” Nikias added. “He did it with enchanting grace, scholarly charm and a courageous heart.”

Still, during Cameron’s tenure voters approved the Brexit measure to leave the European Union. Though Cameron, one of Great Britain’s youngest and most popular prime ministers, wanted Britain to remain in the EU, he gave perspective on how the government now needs to negotiate a deal to safeguard the benefits of membership, international trade and cooperation while not being full members.

Cameron answered questions posed by moderator Jacob Soll, a professor of history and accounting for the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Leventhal School of Accounting, and fielded questions from the audience.

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