Brexit will be painful for us – Wickham

A self-inflicted wound of political and economic proportions that will impact the Caribbean.

This is how political scientist Peter Wickham is describing yesterday’s vote by Britons to leave the European Union.

Wickham pointed to the immediate reaction from global markets to news of the ‘Brexit’ vote, with the drop in value of the sterling and market uncertainty, predicting that the economic turmoil in the UK would certainly impact on Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean, given the region’s historic ties to Britain and the fact that it is also a major tourist market.

“The pound has tumbled overnight and then we are told that there will be an austerity budget that will be imposed to pay for this exit [from] Europe, which is going to be costly. And against the background of all of that I can only see one outcome, which is that there’s likely to be a recession in the United Kingdom.

“The last time we had a recession in the United Kingdom it sparked off a recession in the Caribbean because that’s one of our major tourist markets. So it cannot be good for tourism . . . in Barbados and all the other islands.

“We depend heavily on the United Kingdom and I think [with] an economy under pressure, the last thing that people will want to do is to spend a holiday in Barbados,” Wickham told Barbados TODAY in a Skype interview.

The political scientist said it was difficult to comprehend why the British would wish to leave a union which was beneficial to them, predicting that those who thought they could get a better deal from Brussels were in for a surprise.

“I get the impression that some of the Brexiters were xenophobic and there were other Brexiters that just were voting for it because they wanted to send a signal to Brussels [headquarters of the European Union] or Strasbourg [the official seat of the European Parliament] about the better deal that they wanted. The reality of that is now that the vote has been lost [by the Remain campaign] and the instruction is that they have to leave, the deal for Britain will be far worse,” he said.

EU diplomat Mikael Barfod in  conversation with Government Senator Darcy Boyce following the Brexit vote.
EU diplomat Mikael Barfod in
conversation with Government Senator Darcy Boyce following the Brexit vote.

Meanwhile representatives of the UK and the EU moved quickly today to reassure Barbados and the Caribbean that their relationship with the region remained intact.

The British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Victoria Dean stressed that there would be no sudden changes as a result of the Brexit vote.

Dean said in a statement that “Britain remains open for business and continues to attach huge importance to its relationships with and across the Caribbean”.

Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Ambassador Mikael Barfod also said there was no need for alarm.

He said while there will be some fallout, it was too early to tell what the consequences would be.

“We do not know what the consequences will be as yet, but there will be some consequences in the long run. If the UK is no longer a part of the European Union, the Caribbean that trades a lot with the UK will now have to make alternative arrangements to re-enter into new negotiations. But we do not know how long it will take before the negotiations between the UK and the EU have been completed,” Barfod told Barbados TODAY.

Speaking on the sidelines of a Caribbean Community Secretariat Regional Technical Meeting on the implementation of the 10th European Development Fund, Barfod advised against panic.   

“Take one step at a time. Perhaps they are looking at the financial markets. Just let’s see what happens one step at a time. It was expected that there would be turmoil, but it is also expected that some of it would probably calm down again.

“We have to wait and see what the negotiations bring, what sort of associations the UK would have with the EU. It could be quite close. We do not know the extent of this yet, it depends on the UK and the 27 remaining EU member of states. I cannot predict what the results would be like,” Barfod stressed.

Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Senator Darcy Boyce told Barbados TODAY he shared the ambassador’s sentiments that the region should monitor the outcome of negotiations between the UK and the EU.

Source: (AH)

6 Responses to Brexit will be painful for us – Wickham

  1. Cheryl A Rollins
    Cheryl A Rollins June 25, 2016 at 2:46 am

    Financial institutions will be impacted as well as the offshore sector. Most people didn’t know why they voted, immigration was their main focus. Let’s see how Brexit works for you UK.

  2. Edward June 25, 2016 at 3:51 am

    From some of the articles I have read,it seem as though numbers of persons seem to have second thoughts,but a lot too late. My suspicions are most of them do mot know what and how the EU work and how beneficial it is from an economic,social and overall for the total grouping. I feel the immigration crisis is what has partially sparked the exit.

  3. jrsmith June 25, 2016 at 3:58 am

    We in Barbados and the region always never have our selves in the right corner, for us it always depend on what the others do.The leave campaign won because they have had enough of the establishments , which dictates every facet of their lives plus the cv waving financiers and economic clongs who could even detect the damage the banks done to the(UK) economy years ago…
    This vote was a matter of time and was always going to happen people have had enough of the (EU) group 28 countries most of who ,suffers bad employment ,low wages bad economies and far right political movements, to consider 5 years from now 2-5 more countries would be joining the same countries who is dam poor, just think what the (UK) contribution would escalate to..

    Our Priminister Cameron is a coward, people in the (UK) woke up one morning years ago to find the crooked bankers, had cause the total collapse of the (UK) economy, what he did never ask the people anything he just took our tax payers money to shore up the banking system which is still causing ripples today. But to the establishment a feather in his he is running..

    Barbados have nothing to worry about, the (EEC/EU) needs the (UK) where would they dump they cars , especially (Germany) the (EU) is finish it has played no real part to the people of the (UK), the French , Dutch ,Italians already is making noises as to they countries having referendum…We in the (UK) will be alright…

    • Donild Trimp June 25, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      jr, there are thousands of Brits living and working in the other EU countries.

      No more free movement and employment for them without now having to through the immigration process.

      Do you see this as an easy undertaking? What happens when the remaining EU countries demand their citizens be employed in those positions the Brits now hold?

      Are you going to agree with the non EU residents (Brits) being forced to return to Britian? What classification would you give to the non EU Brits?

      Sometimes people see only one side of the coin. This decision came about because of xenophobia and now it may lead to the remaining EU countries employing their nationals first leaving thousands of Brits wondering what went wrong.

  4. Carson C Cadogan June 25, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    All the doomsday day people out in force.

    They see a monster behind every tree. These people dont see opportunity in any thing at all. Perhaps this is why International organisations and agencies hardly ever employ third people in decision making capacities. They are too small minded.

  5. Sherlock Holmes. June 27, 2016 at 5:18 am

    stupessssss,another soothsayer if you would read the Bible you would have an idea that this was inevitable, some will scoff at my remarks ,but long before the vote i knew the outcome was that the Brits would leave ,but have no fear the British will bounce back very solid, and many will be surprised it’s part of the end time prophecies.


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