The recent ‘Brexit’ vote in the UK has been described as shocking by Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet.
Speaking to the Times via telephone from Miami, Chastanet asserted that it was too early to make a real determination as to the total impact of the ‘Brexit’ vote.
The Saint Lucia Prime Minister noted that the initial shock from the development was a devaluation of the pound.
He told the Times this was a major concern.
The former Tourism Minister observed that the UK is a huge tourism market for Saint Lucia.
Chastanet disclosed that this country is also an important destination for British nationals buying real estate.
He explained that with a devalued pound it would become more expensive for them to both vacation here and buy real estate.
“There are so many ways that you can spin this,” the Saint Lucia Prime Minister told the Times.
He said he was hesitant to make a full comment until he knows what the final decision is going to be.
“Clearly David Cameron resigning and potentially a new Prime Minister coming in – whether that person continues down the path of the decision of the referendum, is to be seen,” the United Workers Party (UWP) leader said.
He observed that there are already two million people who have signed a petition for there to be a new referendum on whether the UK should leave the European Union.
“It is very early and it is shocking,” Chastanet said of the ‘Brexit’ vote.
He asserted that the vote will have major ramifications.
Chastanet spoke of the situation with Saint Lucia’s banana trade.
“The UK will be a separate entity and will not have to conform to European Union laws in terms of free trade,” he told the Times.
Chastanet questioned whether that could lead to a resurgence of Saint Lucia’s banana market.
“There are just too many questions that remain unanswered at this point,” the Prime Minister declared.
He felt that as a result, it would be premature to make any definitive pronouncements in terms of the final outcome and the total impact on the Caribbean.