Thursday, 23 June 2016

UK’s pull out of EU could harm SADC trade regime

If the United Kingdom (UK) were to pull out of the European Union (EU), it would have repercussions in terms of its trade regimes with Africa and it would also have to redefine its position with its trade partners in SADC after so many years of negotiations, Dr Kaire Mbuende, the Namibian Ambassador to the EU, has said. The Britons vote on 23 June 2016 whether their country should remain within the EU or leave the organisation. Mbuende further said that in the last few years, Africa has been dealing primarily with the EU in terms of economic partnership and the UK was significant to that partnership. According to Mbuende, when it comes to trade, there were multilateral joint agreements involving the EU and ACP countries or in the case of the Southern African region – SADC and the EU, but it was premature to talk about the implications of UK’s likelihood to leave the EU until the vote on 23 June 2016. Mbuende made the remarks during the 31st Session of the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific)-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) held in Windhoek from 13-15 June 2016. “But as a democracy that it (UK) is, the people might opt to remain in the EU, but if they opt out, it would definitely have implications,” said Mbuende, adding that the UK has long-standing relations with a number of African nations.