The European Union has rejected claims it will make changes to the trade agreements between Ghana and the EU in the short to medium term following Britain’s decision to exit the union.
According to the Head of the EU in Ghana William Hanna, all trade agreements or relations may remain the same in the next two years and renegotiation may not be necessary.
Speaking to Citi Business News the EU’s Ambassador to Ghana William Hanna said it was premature for anyone to consider changes in the trade relations or agreements.
Mr.Hanna rather urged Ghana to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU by the October 1, 2016 deadline.
“I think we should relate the UK exit in terms of countries and in particular to Ghana as it is clear that in the short term to medium term there will be no implications. Even if Britain decided to leave or is in the processes of negotiating her exit, the regime will remain the same for the next two years at least. I think the crucial thing here will be the trade and the trade relationship will not change, certainly not in the next two years and may not at all so we must wait and see,” he indicated.
Mr. Hanna also argued that the British government which is yet to make a formal request to exit the EU may not make the application considering the huge trade benefits to them.
“I think it would be premature to speculate on any changes in the trading relationship and the most important is the EPA which has the deadline by the 1st of October. The deadline is crucial for the signing and rectification of the trade agreement,” he further stated.
Renegotiate trade deals over Brexit
The EU’s Ambassador to Ghana’s comment also comes days after the Foreign Affairs Minister, Hanna Tetteh suggested Ghana will have to re-engage Britain over trade agreements between the two countries following UK’s decision to exit the EU.
“We would now have to consider renegotiation of our bilateral trade agreement with the UK even though this is something that we see coming in the horizon, we also will have to anticipate beginning our bilateral trade with the European Union (EU) as we have significant trade agreements with Germany, France, among others,” she said.
Hannah Tetteh who expressed no surprise at the outcome of the referendum also explained that the impact is not likely to be felt in the interim as it will take the UK about two years to officially conclude her exit from the EU.
“Until Britain formally exits the EU, the trade agreements will continue to apply but we would have to consider the trade and bilateral agreements with the UK,” she stated.
On whether or not the new decision is likely to affect Ghana’s current engagements with the EU over the Economic Partnership Agreements, Madam Hannah Tetteh was of the view the current negotiations will remain.
Brexit not to affect economy
Earlier, Economist Professor Godfred Bokpin had also ruled out any significant impact on some UK companies operating in the country.
“If the UK should exit, it would have different implications on foreign policy, trade partnerships and agreements among others. But I want to believe that even of the UK decide to remain in the Eurozone, things will not change within the short to medium term,” he told Citi Business News.
Norvan Acquah – Hayford/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana