Saturday, October 19, 2019

Effect of Britain’s EU exit unclear

GIS – Ambassador Barford said there could be some consequences for the Caribbean, such as re-negotiations of trade deals.

Head of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Eastern Caribbean Countries, OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM, Ambassador Mikael Barford said that it is difficult to predict the effect of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Ambassador Barford’s comments were made last Friday in Barbados, at the opening ceremony of a regional technical meeting on the implementation of the 10th European Development Fund, CSME and Economic Integration Program.

Barford said that there could be some consequences for the Caribbean, such as re-negotiations of trade deals with the United Kingdom, as the UK is a major trading partner for many CARICOM member states.

He opined that the EU is better off together than standing alone, and is counted in the global arena because of this cooperation.

“Through the EU, many small countries can make their voices heard. This is why there is support from the EU for the CARICOM Single Market and Economy,” he said. “The EU knows firsthand how integration can benefit small countries, and although the process is not a quick achievement, the challenges related to regional integration are worth taking even though it, at times, has a gloomy reputation.”

The Ambassador commended the CARICOM Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Manorma Soeknandan for taking the initiative to host the regional technical meeting, and reminded those in attendance that the EU stands with CARICOM on the important endeavor of regional integration.


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