Theresa May’s Resignation leaves more questions on BREXIT.

British Prime Minster Theresa May’s failure to pass any deal on BREXIT has left her with no options but to announce her resignation and is expected to stay in office until the end of July. In her resignation address she stated that she will official resign 7 June and will remain as interim prime minister until the next prime minister is chosen.

Eight possible candidates have been highlighted as possible replacements for May. The most controversial is Boris Johnson who is very divisive not only in his own party, but in the UK and EU. Johnson a Brexiteer is also the bookies favourite for the top job and has many MP’s in his own party planning to block his succession.  

It is expected that Johnson will be more than willing to have a no-deal BREXIT if he becomes Prime Minister. Britain is expected to finally leave the EU 31 October and a no deal situation with EU is now looking to be more than likely given May’s failure. Add with the fact that the British parliament is unable to come to any agreement on BREXIT the next prime minister will face the same challenges as May.

By Mokgethi Mtezuka


BREXIT deadline closes in with deadlock still in place

BREXIT is still at a standstill as Prime Minister Theresa May is weighing her options as to how to pass the  BREXIT deal and avoiding a no deal situation. Some leaders in the EU have stated that a no deal divorce will be seen as the lesser even if May’s deal is not passed by the British Parliament.

May is now holding talks with oppositions Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbin in a new effort to pass her deal which has failed to be passed three times in the British Parliament. There calls for either May to compromise her deal or resign as many believe she no more than sitting duck prime minister now.

The EU has given the United Kingdom (UK) till the 12 April 2019 as the new deadline for BREXIT.  Time is running out for the UK leaders to come to an agreement as a no deal scenario looks to be the most like option if parliamentarians can’t come to an agreement for the British people.


By Mokgethi Mtezuka

SA expected to reach roll-over agreement with the UK



The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is expected to reach a roll-over agreement with the United Kingdom post-Brexit.

The department briefed Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on Wednesday on developments made by its negotiating team regarding preferential trade arrangements after the British exit (Brexit) from the European Union (EU).

Brexit is expected to occur on 29 March, while the negotiating team expects to reach the agreement by 21 February.

Committee chairperson Joan Fubbs commended the department and other government departments for the work they are doing in ensuring a “form of continuity in arrangements after Brexit”.

The Chief Director for Trade Negotiation, International Trade, and Economic Development Division at the dti, Niki Kruger, explained the intricacies of the agreement.

“It is only once the UK leaves the EU without an agreement that the UK can draw up its own agreements with other countries. The impact of them not reaching an agreement with the EU before Brexit is difficult to quantify now,” said Kruger.

Fubbs said all should be done to ensure more positive agreements for South Africa and all African countries in the future.

The committee heard that a final agreement will be signed by the end of the first week of March.

In addition, the committee heard that no agreement has been reached between the UK and the EU about the UK’s continued use of existing EU trade agreements.

The UK is currently South Africa’s second biggest trading partner in the EU, despite South Africa having a negative trade balance with the EU.
South Africa has a positive trade balance with the UK and this has increased significantly over the last few years.

The South African and UK trade balance is currently at about US$1.5 billion in South Africa’s favor. The UK currently receives about 40% of all fresh food products or agricultural products exported from South Africa to the EU.


Europe lacking behind as China dominates Africa

Europe’s leading economies are starting to focus more on Africa, with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and United Kingdom Prime Minister, Theresa May visiting Africa countries this past week.

The reason for the visits is the strong growing position that China is having on the African continent. China this week hosted FOCAC the Forum on China Africa Cooperation.  In the past month China President Xi Jinping visited South Africa for the 10th BRICS Summit which had its first Africa Outreach program.

China’s influence on Africa has grown to new heights to a point where the European Union is no longer the only source of investment as well as a market for African resources. Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Theresa May’s African tours both result in announcement of future investment and reciprocal trade.

Chancellor Merkel, African tour consisted of visits to West African countries Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria. Merkel spoke about immigration from Africa to Europe, and how Europe could help African countries provide better livelihoods.

Prime Minister May, visited Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa with the clear intent of securing British markets to hedge against the negative effects of a post Brexit UK. Theresa May pledged increased trade and investment as well as military defense partnership against terrorist groups.



Europe could help UK cancel Brexit

UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan seems to be falling apart, not only in Britain but also within the European Union. Following the resignation of Brexit Secretary David Davis and British foreign Minister Boris Johnson, over fears of a soft exit from the EU and time is running out for the UK.

The European Union seems to have the strongest hand, in the Brexit negotiations and there’s a high likelihood that Brexit could happen without a deal (which would choke off the UK’s access to the EU market) or a soft Brexit-leave the UK significantly weakened. Theresa May had a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, in order to soften the EU’s resolve on the Brexit issue.

Michel Barnier the European Union Chief negotiator for Brexit, has had a death grip on the negotiations not giving the UK any maneuverability. Barnier’s decision-making powers completely rest on the consensus of EU leaders, so Prime Minister May is trying to convince EU leaders to influence Barniers. There is still a chance that the UK could go back on Brexit, if the European Union removed certain barriers from their path using soft Brexit plan as their instrument.

There are also certain parties in the UK working to initiate a second Brexit referendum, now that the difficulties of leaving the EU have been shown, and the UK seems not to have a viable plan in the eyes of British voters. The European Union could open the door for this second referendum to reverse the Brexit vote, but it all depends on European leader’s desire for the UK to stay. The trigger date for Brexit to commence is March 2019, so if the UK wants to backtrack time is definitely running out.

Alternatively the EU could allow the UK to rejoin after exiting, no matter what decision is made both parties will need to make their intentions clear and follow through with it. The ideal scenario in this situation is for the UK to become a non-voting membership with access to the EU market, which includes all the rights and obligations until they’ve reach a non-EU agreement.




U.K to strike trade deals for services in new Brexit plan

The U.K has plans to strike new trade deals for services, as part of a Brexit plan which will tie its goods to European Union rules, in a bid to preserve open customs borders with the bloc.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s government strives to publish the plan, detailing a “comprehensive” vision for future U.K.-EU economic ties.

Bloomberg has reported that that the core of the eagerly-anticipated British proposal is for a free-trade area for goods with the EU.

Newly Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The proposal would give the U.K. the flexibility we need to strike new trade deals around the world, in particular breaking new ground for agreements in services.”

Raab included that the proposal would maintain frictionless trade in goods between the U.K. and the EU through a new free trade area, that’ll meet the business needs.

The Brexit department seeks to win over the potential rebels, saying the new plan respects the public vote in 2016 by pulling Britain out of the customs union and single market, taking back control of its borders, laws and money.

“It is a vision that respects the result of the referendum, and delivers a principled and practical Brexit,” said Raab.

Source: Bloomberg

UK’s top Brexit official quits government

Britain’s top senior official in charge of negotiating the country’s exit from the European Union has resigned, accusing Prime Minister Theresa May of undermining Brexit with her plan to keep close trade ties with the bloc.

Brexit Secretary David Davis resigned just two days after May announced that she had secured the backing of her whole Cabinet for a plan to keep close ties to the EU after leaving the bloc.

“It seems to me we’re giving too much away too easily, and that’s a dangerous strategy at this time,’’ Davis said.

In his resignation letter, he said that May’s plan to adopt EU regulations for all goods and agri-food products after Brexit “hands control of large swathes of our economy to the EU.”

According to Bloomberg, Davis was a strong pro-Brexit voice in a Cabinet divided between supporters of a clean break with the bloc and those who want to keep close ties with Britain’s biggest trading partner.

May’s office said a replacement for Davis would be announced Monday.

Source: Bloomberg