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Britain EU Exit Bad Precedent For Africa

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Saturday, June 25th, 2016
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The government said yesterday it was in support of the UK remaining in the EU but said it was up to the British people to decide.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Foreign Affairs, James Mugume, told Daily Monitor, that as a country currently discussing integration with neighbouring countries, they think the EU should continue operating as a single bloc.

“Our view is that regional integration is good both for the UK and Uganda but we are waiting to see what the British will decide,” he said.

Voting for either “yes” or “no” opened early morning yesterday and was expected to close at 9pm. Results for the historic referendum are expected today.

The vote pits the “Remain” movement backed by British Prime Minister David Cameron and opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, against the “Leave” campaign led by former London mayor and Conservative MP Boris Johnson.

A decision to leave the 28-member alliance, the first since the EU was formed in 1993, could prompt other member states to follow suit and reverse a decades-long drive for European unity.

The “leave” campaign has among others focused on the arguments about immigration, loss of UK sovereignty and that EU entrenches corporate interests and prevents radical reforms.

The State minister for East African Affairs, Julius Maganda, told Daily Monitor that EU is a big partner for Africa and that disintegration would cause a shift in the trade balance.

“It would set a bad precedent for the continent,” Mr Maganda said, adding that it will also send a bad gesture for our trade.

According to the Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) statistics, regional market (East African Community) remains Uganda’s top export destination with Shs3.3 trillion ($1b) in 2015, and the EU in the second spot with Shs1.7 trillion ($502m).

Mr Willy Nsubuga, the chairman of the Uganda-UK Convention, a trade and investment forum which also brings together nationals in the UK, told Daily Monitor that the campaign to leave the union has been based on mere sentiments.

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