South Africa, the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and Mozambique together have made significant progress on negotiations with the UK on the impending Brexit, as the UK is scheduled to leave the EU on 29 March.
SA’s Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies briefed reporters on work being done regarding preferential trade arrangements after the British exit (Brexit) from the European Union. He said much progress has been made between the SACU, Mozambique and the United Kingdom.
The three entities have been working with the British government to try to negotiate an arrangement so that should there be a “hard” Brexit, without an agreement, “then we would have an agreement in place that would ensure that there’s no interruption of our existing trade,” Davies said.
“We have reached an agreement on a huge number of issues. We agreed to the rollover of the EPA [Economic Partnership Agreements] on a bilateral basis,” said the Minister at the briefing held in Cape Town.
The briefing comes after British Members of Parliament on Tuesday voted against Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the UK.
During negotiations with SACU and Mozambique, several issues came to the fore. Led by Botswana, issues raised by the group included that of the recognition of sanitary and phytosanitary certificates, which are issued to individual exporters.