Brexit LIVE: Forget EU! African finance chief celebrates UK exit – mega deals on horizon
UAE: Liz Truss discusses post-Brexit trade deal
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Britain is making positive inroads into the second largest continent in the world, defying gloomy forecasts from Project Fear doom-mongers the new sovereign nation would struggle outside the EU. Trade deals worth billions of pounds have already been signed with a number of African countries, including South Africa, Ghana and Kenya, while many more are expected to be rubber-stamped over the coming months. The removal of European market caps means there has been a huge jump in trade between the UK and Africa, with international trade opportunities into the continent often facilitated via the City of London.
Cheryl Buss, CEO of Absa International, formerly Barclays Africa, has toasted Brexit and despite admitting these investment flows have been disrupted by the UK’s departure from the EU, there are many lucrative trade opportunities the UK and Africa can exploit.
She told City AM: “The UK now has the ability to negotiate its own trade agreements with countries, which could have a large impact on Africa as the UK could make independent trade agreements that are better tailored to individual African countries.
“Following the UK-Africa investment summit at the start of this year and in January 2020, the UK is in a position to strengthen its relationships with Africa post-Brexit.
“This will lead to a more collaborative relationship based around trade and investment.”
She added: “We’ve already seen a number of positive impacts post-Brexit for Africa. The UK has signed a free-trade agreement with South Africa which was extended to both the Southern African Customs Union and the Mozambique-UK Economic Partnership Agreement (SACU+M).
“While the trade agreement is largely similar to the trade deal the SACU+M had with the EU, the negotiations centred around a realignment of quotas for SACU+M countries in favour of African countries.
“Ghana and the UK also recently completed a trade agreement worth £1.6bn which includes mineral fuels and oil, preparations of fish, fruit, cocoa and cocoa preparations.”
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8.08am update: Boris meeting Irish PM Martin today over Northern Ireland Protocol
Brexit trade issues in Northern Ireland are likely to dominate talks between Boris Johnson and Irish counterpart Micheal Martin later today.
Trade has been impacted by newly-introduced checks on goods arriving at ports across the island of Ireland from Great Britain.
But the Northern Ireland Protocol has retained the region as part of the EU for goods checks, which has sparked anger among ports across the island of Ireland from Great Britain who regard it as a border in the Irish Sea and separation from the rest of the UK.
There have been several protests throughout Northern Ireland, with some resulting in violence in Belfast last month.
7.50am update: Hated EU deal ‘breaches FOUR agreements’ – major legal challenge TODAY
Brexiteer Ben Habib has pinned the blame squarely on Boris Johnson prior to today’s legal challenge to the Northern Ireland Protocol, describing the controversial mechanism as “an affront to the United Kingdom” for which the Prime Minister was ultimately responsible.
The judicial review is due to get underway at the High Court of Northern Ireland in Belfast this morning, with organisers including former Brexit Party MEP Mr Habib having raised more than £80,000 towards the estimated £150,000 cost via a Crowdfunding appeal.
Both the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) are backing the case, with stems from their belief that the arrangements, aimed at preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland, instead amount to a border down the Irish Sea which effectively drives a wedge between the region and the rest of the United Kingdom.
In a forensic analysis of the situation, Mr Habib told Express.co.uk: “I cannot see how we could lose.
“Consider the following: the Prime Minister has repeatedly said the Protocol avoids a so-called hard border on the island of Ireland, for which read a customs border.
“At the same time he claims the Protocol does not put a border down the Irish Sea and that Northern Ireland remains part of the UK’s customs union.
“So, for the same arrangements which amount to a hard border on the island of Ireland, they amount to no border at all in the Irish Sea.”
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