Thu | Oct 18, 2018

Letter of the Day | Leverage Brexit

Published:Friday | September 22, 2017 | 12:00 AM


I was interested to read an article published in The Gleaner titled 'British High Commission looks to hit reset button with Jamaica' (September 20, 2017). In the article, the British high commissioner to Jamaica outlines how they plan to revamp trade relations between Jamaica and the United Kingdom.

Let us really look beyond the pleasantries. This is simply self-serving at its best. In fact, a more accurate title would be 'Britain looks to reform relations with colonies as Brexit looms'. Now, Britain had decades to improve trade relations and commerce with former colonies but has seen it fit to improve relations just as Britain is leaving the European Union (EU), which will create a trade deficit.

Let's examine the fact that currently, the United Kingdom exports 44 per cent of goods and services to the rest of the EU. This means that if the UK does not get a trade deal with the EU before Brexit, there will be a 44 per cent shortfall in revenue. So it can be said that this restart in relations is just the United Kingdom's attempt to hedge its bets against a trade deficit.

Don't be mistaken: Every nation should look out for its interest. However, do not label it as if it were for the benefit of Jamaica. This is Britain ensuring that after it has left the EU, secure global trading partners will make up for the possible shortfalls in trade.

So any educated individual can argue the case that at this moment, Jamaica is now more valuable to Britain than ever before. Which brings me to the unique position in which Jamaica finds itself.

We need to leverage the fortunate or unfortunate situation that the British have found themselves in. Just as in decades gone by, we, our land and our other resources, have been exploited. It is time to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented.

So in ending, we should be more like Oliver Twist from the British novel, "Sir, can I have some more, please?"


Student, UTech