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CARICOM should prepare for possibility of Brexit - Sanders

Published:Thursday | June 23, 2016 | 6:00 AM

Prominent Caribbean diplomat Sir Ronald Sanders has called on Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders to consider seriously how they would navigate the relationship of their respective countries with the United Kingdom (UK) should citizens of that country vote to leave the European Union.

"We need to start and should have started thinking already of how we [would] adapt to the new Economic Partnership Arrangement (EPA) without Britain and how we [would] negotiate a new trade, investment, and aid arrangement with Britain," he said in an interview with The Gleaner.

Sir Ronald argued that the Caribbean may need to seek a trade, investment, and aid agreement with Britain should Brexit become a reality.

SKILL THEREBUT ...

He affirmed the capacity and skill of Caribbean negotiators to ink credible deals with Britain but questioned the collective will of Caribbean countries to work together in this regard.

"We have the capacity to negotiate. It's the will to negotiate together. Now that is another matter altogether," he said.

According to Sir Ronald, trade in services will be a critical item in any future negotiations between CARICOM and a UK free of its EU entanglements.

"What we will have to look at, in terms of Britain, is not so much export of goods, but rather export of services. So we are going to have to refine our financial services, our auditing services, our accounting services, even our cultural services to be able to get into the British market [should the Leave campaign succeed]," he said.