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Britain will still fulfil commitments to the region
Published on September 13, 2016

Trade agreements will not just disappear.

That’s according to Ambassador Gail Mathurin, of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN) of the CARICOM Secretariat.

Speaking at the UWI’s Brexit Symposium, she said that once the UK formally withdraws from the EU, the EPA will no longer govern trade between CARICOM/CARIFORUM states and the UK.

However, Brexit will not result in the cessation of trade between CARICOM and the UK. The question becomes on what terms this trade will be conducted. Until and unless a new preferential trade arrangement is put in place, better CARICOM/ CARICOM states  and UK the trading relationship will likely have to be govern by multilateral arrangements.

The Ambassador implied Britain will still be bound by their commitments post Brexit, subject to negotiations, but negotiations will only start when they actually leave the EU.

Post Brexit, she suggested, “It would be in CARICOM’s/CARIFORUM’s interest to secure, at a minimum, the level of preferences currently enjoyed under the EPA, with respect to trade of goods, services. However, we will be placed low on the list when it comes to negotiations.”

Chairman of the BHTA, Roseanne Myers, indicated, “Leading up to the Brexit vote, the industry already had proactive promotions in January and February, strong presales in 2016/17, and the booking pace was very strong in 2016/17.

“In terms of the immediate post vote impact, there was very short term disruption, where no one knew what  happening. But there was booking recovery almost as if you had pent up demand and a boost thereafter.

“There was a surge in bookings. We met with Virgin, BA, etc... all of the major players, and they actually saw a rally in bookings after Brexit, after two or three days.

“We don’t know what will happen next year. BA and Virgin, around the time of the vote and right after, put out some serious seat sales. They put rates in the market that dampened what would have been the effect of that uncertainty…

“There have been minimum cancellations for summer, but what we have seen is the pace of forward bookings slowed, and we believe the effect of that uncertainty came into play.”

Source: Barbados Advocate 


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