A British economist has dismissed the many gloomy post-Brexit outlooks for United Kingdom (UK) – Caribbean trade and is instead urging Antigua & Barbuda to engage London immediately on new trade arrangements.
Those arrangements – according to Shanker Singham – will benefit from a number of key UK policy changes resulting from its already determined 2019 exit from the European Union.
Speaking at a Round Table discussion yesterday, Singham, the director of Economic Policy and Prosperity Studies at the London-based Legatum Institute said, “One of the things Britain can do which Europe on a whole cannot do is to lower tariffs and do a lot more in terms of unilateral action.”
The Legatum Institute is a London-based international think tank. According to its website the organisation aims to “promote policies that lift people from poverty to prosperity”.
He added, “We can lower our tariffs and quotas on certain things like agricultural products which we do not produce. These include a lot of things that the Caribbean and developing countries do produce like tropical fruit and other things.”
Singham added, “You need to be proactive and you need to be going to London now. And it’s not just the government – it’s businesses and the private sector and people. And you have to look at London differently.”
He added, “You’ve looked at London as your chief lobbyist for positions with respect to the European Union (EU) which was fine as that was the role London served – that is not the role it’s going to have any more.”
The Round Table was on the theme “Brexit: Implications for Antigua & Barbuda and the Wider Caribbean” and was hosted by the Antigua & Barbuda Chamber of Commerce & Industry with the help of the High Commission of Antigua & Barbuda in London.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)