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CARICOM banks on excellent relations with UK, EU

Posted in: Press Releases by admin | 07 July 2016 | 6390

    The vote by the people of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (EU) notwithstanding, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) reposes confidence in the excellent relations it shares with both parties.

    At a press conference at the conclusion of the 37th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM on Wednesday night, Prime Minister of Dominica stressed the importance of those relations and said that the Community would await the outcome of the negotiations of Britain's exit from the EU.

    He was supported in his comments by President of Guyana, His Excellency David Granger with whom he shared the press conference. The implications of BREXIT for the community was discussed although taht situatoib unfolds daily, we are confident that UK and EU Will remain strong and valued partners of the Caribbean Community, he said.

    The Heads of Government received an extensive briefing document from the CARICOM Secretariat on BREXIT and held discussion on the matter on Wednesday.

    While both the Prime Minister Skerrit and President Granger have called for the Community to await the outcome of the BREXIT negotiations, they have acknowledged the concerns about the possible domino effect of the UK vote. The concerns range from a drop off in arrivals in tourist dependent Member States such as Saint Lucia and Barbados where the UK is a major source market, a decrease in development assistance, to effects on trade agreements the Region has with the EU.

    At the opening ceremony, Dr. the Hon Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, encouraged the Community to see the positives in the UK's move to leave the EU, rather than engage in lamentations about it.

    Responding to what he termed the “hysteria” of BREXIT, he saw opportunities for a fast-tracking of the Caribbean Single Market (CSM). The whole world was facing some of the problems that we were reaching to them to assist with, so we have to go with the “right configuration”, he said.

    PM Gonsalves on BREXIT from Caribbean Community on Vimeo.