Gov’t Monitoring ‘Brexit’ Opportunities and Implications for Jamaica

Story Highlights

  • Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, says the Government continues to monitor the possible opportunities and implications for Jamaica, consequent on Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU).
  • She noted that apart from anticipated initial market impact, nothing conclusively suggests that any long-term negative effects would result from the United Kingdom’s (UK) decision.
  • The EPA facilitates a free trade area between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. Kamina Johnson Smith, says the Government continues to monitor the possible opportunities and implications for Jamaica, consequent on Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU).

She said the Ministry, through its Foreign Trade Department, was liaising with representatives from the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, and academics, in this regard.

Additionally, Senator Johnson Smith said the Ministry remains in close contact with the British High Commission in Kingston on the matter.

She was responding to questions raised after reading a statement on the ‘Implications of the United Kingdom’s Vote to Leave the European Union’, during Friday’s (July 1) sitting of the Senate at Gordon House.

Senator Johnson Smith, who is Leader of Government Business in the Upper House, said resonating forecasts about bilateral implications were speculative.

She noted that apart from anticipated initial market impact, nothing conclusively suggests that any long-term negative effects would result from the United Kingdom’s (UK) decision.

The Minister noted, however, that matters relating to trade, development cooperation, immigration concerns, and financial and economic considerations were among the areas being monitored.

Responding to a question from Opposition Senator, Sophia Fraser-Binns, regarding the possible establishment of a taskforce to monitor the developments, Mrs. Johnson Smith said this was not being considered at this time.

However, she indicated that discussions were underway with the Caribbean Forum’s (CARIFORUM) Director General, Iván Ogando Lora, to review the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

The EPA facilitates a free trade area between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

Senator Johnson Smith further said that bilateral cooperation initiatives announced at the UK/Caribbean Forum in April were expected to remain intact.

She advised that Britain’s pending withdrawal from the EU was among the matters for discussion during the 37th CARICOM Heads of Government Conference in Georgetown, Guyana, from July 4 to 6.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, will head Jamaica’s delegation to the meeting.

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