KeywordsJF Political institutions (General)
JN Political institutions (Europe)
JN101 Great Britain
JZ International relations
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AbstractThe result of the United Kingdom’s referendum on leaving the EU, which was held on 23 June 2016, has profound geopolitical, economic, and social implications for Africa. This is all the more the case given the bilateral UK–Africa relationship and interregional Africa–EU relations. • In economic terms, those African countries that rely most on trade with the UK – Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, and Kenya – will suffer in the event of a reces- sion in the UK. They will also feel the uncertainty that comes with renegotiating economic partnerships, which could take years. • A recession in the UK would also call into question the country’s ability to ful l its aid and development commitments. Initial evidence suggests that the new government’s focus will be more on strengthening trade relations than helping those most in need. • African states will lose an important advocate within the EU, creating a climate of uncertainty around economic relations. In the past, the UK has advocated for the reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, even though it has failed to secure substantive changes. • The withdrawal of the UK from the EU Common Security and Defence Policy will have implications for the EU’s security practices in Africa. It will affect the nan- cial contributions to EU-led support for the African Peace and Security architecture, and thus donors’ ability to maintain much needed support in this area. • Brexit challenges the European integration project and the EU’s credibility in promoting regional integration. However, it also presents learning opportunities for the process and pace of regional integration in Africa. Policy Implications The results of Brexit and its immediate aftermath, particularly the cabinet of the new British prime minister Theresa May, are not inspiring for African per- ceptions of the UK. While the new British government will focus on securing short-term economic bene ts, African countries will increasingly turn towards other funding and trading partners such as China, Brazil, or India. The re- maining European countries will need to counter Britain’s exit from the Euro- pean Union by increasing their engagement in trade, development, and security policies in Africa.
Ansorg, Nadine and Haastrup, Toni (2016) Brexit Beyond the UK’s Borders: What It Means for Africa. GIGA Focus Afrika, 3/2016 . pp. 1-10. ISSN 1862-3603. (doi:GIGA Focus | Africa | Number 3 | September 2016) (Full text available)