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Tuesday, 08 November 2016

ACP's Future After Brexit

In the coming months, the 79-member group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states (the ACP) will decide how they prepare for the potentially damaging effect that Brexit may have on their exports to Britain, and the development assistance they presently receive. At issue will be how to re- tain the valuable relationship that countries from Ghana to Jamaica have with the UK within the European Union (EU) if, as seems increasingly likely, the UK government chooses a hard Brexit and a new trade and development relationship has to be negotiated either with ACP as a group, by region, or in some other configuration. Speaking to me recently about this, Patrick Gomes, the ACP Secretary General, who was formerly Guyana’s Ambassador to the EU, is clear. The ACP as a group will take a position on Brexit and in doing so aim to encourage the support in Britain of the African and Caribbean diasporas, private sector interests, and friends in the UK Parliament. In this context his thinking envisages an important role for its diaspora in the UK, irrespective of whichever political party they support. Once the nature of the UK’s exit is clearer, he urges the UK’s large Caribbean and African community to engage with their Parliamentary representatives, the media and others to have them understand the consequences for the ACP if tariffs were to be introduced by Britain on their exports. He also believes it will be necessary to form a Commonwealth-ACP alliance to achieve a positive outcome.

Source: voice-online.co.uk