June 26—The UK government has assured exporters in poor countries including Uganda, that Britain leaving the European Union (EU), will not hurt their preferential access to the UK market.
However, Ugandan total exports to the UK were less than $30 million in value as December 2015 compared to the just over $80 million worth of merchandise Uganda bought from Britain.
Under the EU’s “Everything but Arms’ policy, several least developed countries can export a variety of mostly fresh produce to the EU without any tariffs being imposed on the items.
According latest figures show that annually $20 billion of goods were shipped to the UK from these developing countries, accounting for around half of its clothing, a quarter of its coffee and other goods such as cocoa, bananas and roses.
Liam Fox, the UK International Trade Secretary said over the weekend, “Free and fair trade has been the greatest liberator of the world’s poor, and today’s announcement shows our commitment to helping developing countries grow their economies and reduce poverty through trade.”
He said Britain’s departure from the EU is an opportunity to “Step up to our commitments to the rest of the world, not step away from them.”