Jamaica Foreign Affairs eyeing Brexit impact

Monique McIntosh

Jamaica Foreign Affairs eyeing Brexit impact
Jamaican Minster of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson-Smith

Jamaica Foreign Affairs eyeing Brexit impact

Jamaican Minster of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Kamina Johnson-Smith, says the Ministry will be monitoring the potential impact for Jamaicans following the UK’s recent referendum to leave the European Union (EU), and the resignation of UK Prime Minister, David Cameron.

“This will have significant implications for Jamaica-UK relations and possibly for Jamaica-EU relations,” said Minister Johnson-Smith in a released statement. “We note also the announcement made by the British Prime Minister early this morning and continue to monitor related political developments.”

How the UK’s decision to leave the EU remains uncertain, but many observers predict impacts in immigration and investments. Former Jamaican Ambassador to the United States, Stephen Vasciannie, has suggested that Jamaicans can anticipate more restrictive immigration entry policies into the UK. The value of remittances from the UK to families in Jamaica will also be affected, as the pound sterling fell as low as 8 percent on some exchange markets– the lowest level since 1985 – since the referendum results were announced.

Despite the potential changes in Jamaica-UK relations, Minister Johnson-Smith pledged her Ministry’s support of the Uk’s recent move.

“We wish the Government and people of the UK well as they seek to move forward,” said the statement. “We applaud the UK for the fact that the referendum (popularly known as Brexit) was conducted freely and fairly, with due regard for the strong democratic tradition, which has been the hallmark of the UK political process.”

Minister Johnston-Smith also expressed hope that “renewed efforts will be made to strengthen and expand the Jamaica-UK partnership in all areas, not least in relation to trade, investment and development cooperation. We are certainly committed to working towards these goals. At the same time, we reaffirm our commitment to the Jamaican Diaspora in the UK and express the hope that they and their families will realise their aspirations and contribute to the prospects for a revitalised relationship between Jamaica and the UK.

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