What are the implications for trade between SA and the UK if Brexit goes ahead?

Minister Trade & Industry Rob Davies says if the UK leaves the European Union with no agreement in place, this could impact South Africa's trade and exports - especially duties on products like sugar and automotive vehicles.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with German and French leaders Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, as she aims to find a solution to the current Brexit deadlock.

This is ahead of Wednesday's crucial EU summit.

She is expected to ask for another delay to Brexit.

Davies says if the UK agrees on a withdrawal agreement - the 'Theresa May agreement', then they will have until the end of 2020 to negotiate an agreement with the European Union during which time things will remain the same.

We have with the EU and UK, an economic partnership agreement and that provides a free trade agreement between ourselves and the EU. Only a crash out or hard Brexit would affect that. If they have a withdrawal agreement, what is called the Theresa May agreement, then they would have until the end of 2020 to negotiate an agreement...during which time all the agreements the EU has with third parties would continue to apply.

Rob Davies, Minister Trade & Industry

So if the withdrawal agreement goes through, the status quo remains and our sugars and autos would remain trading with the British on the same terms until they negotiate.

Rob Davies, Minister Trade & Industry

If they are not able to reach any agreement and Friday late evening happens, then they will leave the EU with no agreement in place and in that case, the British government has published a notice of the tariffs they will apply for one year after that and that notice for us would not carry any duties at all. There would be no interruptions, but among the 469 lines, there are sugar and automotive products so there would be some interruptions .

Rob Davies, Minister Trade & Industry

We continue to negotiate and make progress. I think a lot of effort is being put into trying to avoid a hard Brexit on Friday.

Rob Davies, Minister Trade & Industry

Click on the link below to hear more from Davies....


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