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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Brexit costs Caribbean region its voice

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will lose “an important voice” as a result of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), Prime Minister Freundel Stuart said today. He made the observation as he expressed “great concern” about the EU’s move to adopt a “differentiation” principle to determine support for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Stuart, who was addressing the inaugural EU-Caribbean Sustainable Energy conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre this morning, said while the region remained “robust” in its determination to seize the opportunities present under various trade agreements, including the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), it was concerned that the change in policy could reduce support to some countries. “This adjustment in the development policy of the EU to the region which will reduce support to those countries that are classified as middle income, and move bilateral assistance to a regional platform, has come at an unfortunate time as the region is still fighting off the worst effects of a debilitating economic recession,” he said. “Furthermore, the exit of Britain from the European family of nations may not bode well for the Caribbean since we are aware, and we must be frank, that we will lose an important voice in the corridors of Brussels speaking on our behalf.”

Source: barbadostoday.bb