Former Saint Lucia Prime Minister, Doctor Vaughan Lewis, has asserted that there needs to be a change in the diplomacy of Caricom after the ‘Brexit’ vote.
“Diplomacy now suggests that we put a greater effort into dealing with and ensuring new connections with Europe itself, “Lewis said after the UK voted to exit the European Union.
The former Saint Lucia leader was of the opinion that Caricom diplomacy has to put greater emphasis on establishing firmer relations with various members of the EU, in addition to Britain.
Lewis, a former director of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), observed that Saint Lucia and other Caribbean countries have had long established relations with Britain.
He noted that Caribbean countries are part of the EU/ACP partnership.
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has ruled out a second referendum on Britain’s EU membership.
Cameron announced after the ‘Brexit’ vote that he would step down as Prime Minister.
Lewis noted that as a result of the ‘Brexit’ vote, Britain was experiencing much turmoil.
“The demand for change has come from within the governing Conservative party itself, not from the opposition,” Lewis asserted.
He observed that this has created a certain amount of instability and uncertainty in the decision making of the British government.
The former Prime Minister said the uncertainty started to affect the opposition Labour party as well.
Lewis noted that the British government is going to be very diverted and overwhelmed in dealing with its own problems.
As a result he felt that the region will have to increase its efforts in dealing with the British administration and engaging the European Union.
“We have to seek to monitor very closely now the direction which the British government will take,” the former Prime Minister said.
He was of the view that if Britain eventually exits the European Union, Caribbean countries will lose the strength of British diplomacy in the EU.