How Africa can benefit from Brexit

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU will disrupt global trade relations, but will also offer a clear opportunity for Africa.

18 May 2020

It has dominated global headlines for so long that simply mentioning ‘Brexit’ in conversation will instantly change the atmosphere – from being cordial to one bristling with aggression. But the fact remains that the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) is significant on many fronts – and the island nation’s relationship with long-term trade partners like Africa is at the top of the lengthy priority list.

Brexit was formally announced by the British government in March 2017, following a referendum in June 2016. While the initial majority was slim (52% in favour versus 48% against), a subsequent election reinforced the Conservative government’s position and on 31 January, 2020, it became official – the UK left the EU and is now in a transition period until 31 December (although an extension may be requested due to Covid-19).

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