Africa, and especially South Africa, would be hit hard by the shock waves if the UK cuts the EU adrift. By Peter Fabricius for ISS TODAY.
First published by ISS Today, a publication of the Institute for Security Studies.
‘Fog in the channel – continent cut off.’ The Brookings Institution reminded us of this famous though apocryphal British headline in an analysis of Brexit this week.
For Brookings, the headline epitomises the insularity – not to say solipsism – of the Brexiters, that disturbingly large number of Britons who will vote to leave the European Union (EU) today.
South Africa’s otherwise rather dour Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies also gave us a dryly humorous take on Brexit this week. He offered British companies that lost their duty-free access to European markets, if the United Kingdom (UK) exited the EU, a home in South Africa. That would continue their access to the EU market through the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which has just been signed between Brussels and six countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
It is indeed rather ironic that if London does decide to divorce Brussels today – and polls are still showing the Brexit referendum is too close to call – South Africa might enjoy greater access to the EU market than Britain.
But this is hardly something to gloat about. If the UK does pull out, it won’t be official policy and it won’t be personal – but Africa, and especially South Africa, will nonetheless be hit, and possibly hard, by the Brexit shock waves; like every other part of the world, economists believe.
Trade, investment and, indirectly, even development aid, are likely to be hurt.
Read the full article on the Daily Mavericks website