Trade Briefs

A No-Deal Brexit is on the Cards. What are the Implications for Trade with the UK?

A No-Deal Brexit is on the Cards. What are the Implications for Trade with the UK?

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30 Aug 2019

Author(s): Gerhard Erasmus

Boris Johnson became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) on 24 July 2019 and changed the narrative on Brexit. He wants to renegotiate the withdrawal deal agreed by his predecessor (something the European Union (EU) says it will not do) and take Britain out of the EU by the 31 October deadline, come what may. Two extensions have already been granted for the UK to leave the EU. Johnson wants the UK to leave the EU on 31 October “whatever the circumstances” and has instructed the civil service to “urgently and rapidly” prepare for this eventuality.

The following questions now arise: How will the Parliamentary and constitutional process in the UK unfold between now and 31 October 2019? Will the UK crash out of the EU without a withdrawal agreement, or will Mr. Johnson succeed in this short period to convince the EU to re-open negotiations, to re-negotiate the withdrawal agreement, and to get Parliament to approve his new deal? What are the consequences of a “hard Brexit” for international trade with and by the UK? How can the uninterrupted continuation of preferential trade between the UK and the African members of the SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) be ensured? These are some of the questions discussed in this Trade Brief.

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